Can B vitamins really help you look younger?
That’s the question we are going to tackle today as we look at the powerful ingredient known as niacinamide.
This high-quality B vitamin is found in the most expensive and luxurious skin care products and for good reason.
We are going to talk about all of the benefits of this B vitamin, how it works to help you look younger, the side effects of using it, and how to use it safely.
Let’s jump in:
Don’t let the name confuse you.
Niacinamide is simply another name for Vitamin B3.
Both niacinamide and nicotinic acid are different variations of the same vitamin B3 (but they have slightly different properties).
Niacinamide is just as potent as nicotinic acid on your skin but has fewer side effects which are why we are going to discuss it today.
We all know that the B Vitamins are great for your body and for your cells.
After all, have you ever tried a B complex vitamin? Did it help you with your energy?
The changes are high that it did.
But what about using B vitamins on your skin, topically?
It turns out that while scientists were aware of the importance of B3 for your body, they only recently found out how beneficial Vitamin B3 is when it is placed directly on the skin.
You may be tempted to think that by consuming a B3 supplement that it will automatically make it to your skin, but this doesn’t turn out to be the case!
If you ingest a supplement by mouth (such as niacinamide) it has to go through virtually every other cell in your body BEFORE it even gets a chance to get to your skin.
Because of this, it’s often much better and more effective to place the B3 directly on your skin.
This mode of using vitamins and therapies on your skin directly is called transdermal placement or topical placement of vitamins and it’s not new in dermatology.
In this article, we are going to discuss the amazing benefits of niacinamide and I’m going to give you 8 reasons to try it.
Believe it or not, it’s actually hard to find vitamins and nutrients that have been well studied and proven to impact the skin!
In the world of skin care, many therapies are often promoted simply because they work for some people.
But this doesn’t mean that they will work for everyone!
So, it’s actually quite rare when we find a well-studied vitamin or nutrient that can impact the skin.
And niacinamide is one of those.
There are at least 10+ clinical studies and trials which show that this vitamin has seriously beneficial effects on the skin.
Below I’ve listed the top 8 most important benefit of niacinamide on your skin and I discuss how they work.
If you are considering using this vitamin make sure you read these benefits:
First and foremost, niacinamide acts as an anti-oxidant in the body.
We all know what inflammation is and we all know you don’t want a lot of it going on in your body.
Inflammation accelerates the aging process, damages your cells, causes premature aging, and increases your risk of developing other medical conditions.
Pretty much anything you can do to reduce inflammation is great for your body and for your cells!
Niacinamide helps reduce inflammation by raising cellular levels of something known as glutathione.
Glutathione is the master anti-oxidant in the body which helps keep your cells protected from damage, infection, and cancer.
It also helps prevent DNA degradation (keeps your DNA intact).
You may think that wrinkles are one of the biggest complaints that people have as they age, but another big one is the fact that our skin tone changes as well.
As we age it’s not uncommon for our skin tone to become uneven.
For us to develop age spots or dark spots in certain areas.
This imbalance of pigmentation often makes the skin look older than it really is.
All disorders that result in pigmentation changes to your skin fall into the category of hyperpigmentation and treating this condition is a top priority!
The more melanin your melanocytes have the darker your skin will be. If you can prevent this process from occurring (or at least even it out) then you’ll be on your way to reducing skin hyperpigmentation.
Did you know that your skin turns slightly yellow as you get older?
This reaction occurs as your body browns sugar molecules.
It’s the same process that occurs when you cook foods and it’s why they turn brown!
It’s called the Maillard reaction and it happens inside of your cells and skin.
While your skin is not cooking, it does turn yellow as you age.
Niacinamide has been shown to slow down this reaction which can act to decrease the yellow tint that your skin can get as you age.
This process probably happens because B3 acts as an anti-oxidant.
Ever notice how some people are more sensitive to chemicals than others?
Some of us can come into contact with harsh chemicals that seem to bounce right off of our skin.
Other people react with all sorts of irritation whenever they come into contact with even lightly irritating substances.
What’s the difference?
Part of this difference has to do with the integrity of your skin and how likely it is to prevent the absorption of these chemicals.
If these chemicals just bounce right off of your skin then they probably won’t cause any issues.
If they get absorbed, even just a little bit, then they can wreak havoc.
That doesn’t mean you should run out and use harsh chemicals, though!
Be gentle and kind to your skin, even if you do decide to use niacinamide!
We all want to keep the young and beautiful skin that we had when we were younger.
At pretty much any time in your life, you can look back at an earlier time and think about how good your skin looked then.
Have you ever seen pictures of yourself from 10 years ago?
Even though you ‘look’ the same, there’s something seriously different about your skin.
We often refer to people looking like ‘babies’ and much of this has to do with how fine their skin looks!
This has sparked interest in all sorts of therapies designed to help reverse or stop the aging process.
Some of these therapies work better than others, but one of these therapies that actually works quite well is the use of niacinamide.
It works by increasing dermal collagen and protein production in your skin.
Collagen is the substance that forms the framework of your dermis which tends to fade as we get older.
As you age, your collagen fades which causes your skin to sink in and produces wrinkles.
Anything you can do to stop this process will help you look younger!
It’s helpful to think of your skin as one massive organ.
The entire goal and function of your skin is to prevent bad things from getting into your body and to prevent good things from leaving.
One of the good things that you don’t want leaving your body is water!
You are more water than you realize (in fact more than anything else) and this water is also very apparent in your skin.
How much water your skin contains will have an impact on how “hydrated” your skin appears.
Dehydrated skin is sunken in, looks old, has wrinkles in it, and is otherwise not very attractive.
Hydrated skin, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It is plumped up, full of vitality, and makes your skin appear younger.
We can measure how effective your skin is at keeping water in by looking at something called transepidermal water loss.
If you can reduce this transepidermal water loss then you are heading in the right direction because you are keeping water inside of your cells and preventing bad things from coming in.
And that’s exactly what niacinamide has been shown to do.
This is probably another one of the mechanisms by which this vitamin helps keep your skin looking younger than ever.
If you don’t know much about melasma then I would recommend that you check out this post.
As a quick primer:
Melasma is a hyperpigmentation disorder which primarily occurs in women with darker skin and often occurs around pregnancy.
No one really knows what causes it (not even dermatologists) and this makes treatment very difficult.
The standard treatment focuses on using certain therapies, such as hydroquinone, to help lighten the skin.
One of the problems with this approach is that hydroquinone is associated with all sorts of potentially negative side effects.
That’s where niacinamide steps in.
In head to head clinical trials, niacinamide has been shown to help reduce the hyperpigmentation associated with melasma!
This means that niacinamide can be a useful tool to help treat and reverse melasma.
In addition, it might also serve as another potent tool to treat other hyperpigmentation disorders!
Ultraviolet light is known to be dangerous to the skin and can even lead to skin cancer.
This is why so many dermatologists recommend that you use sunscreen because it helps block these rays!
What you may not know is that ultraviolet irradiation (especially UVB rays) suppress your immune system which may increase the risk of developing skin cancers.
Your immune system does more than prevent you from getting sick, it also acts to kill off bad and cancerous cells.
While it’s not possible to avoid all sunlight (and you shouldn’t try because then you’ll get vitamin D deficient) niacinamide may be able to help if you get accidental exposure.
We know that niacinamide (according to some studies) can prevent the suppression of your immune system when exposed to ultraviolet light.
This means that it may be used as a protective cream to use in addition to sunscreen.
Preventing skin cancer may be low on your list of important functions (especially if you are younger) but it’s still an important benefit that stems from this vitamin!
Can you get all of these benefits with facial products?
The answer is yes, but in order to get them you need to make sure that you are following a couple of rules:
Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks of using niacinamide is the cost!
It turns out to be one of the more expensive products and may require you to splurge a little bit.
If you are budget conscious then I would recommend a product like Vitamin C serum which can still provide plenty of benefits.
If you are interested in using the best products on your face and you are willing to spend a little bit to get there then I would recommend a product such as this (link to Amazon):
This product contains a combination of resveratrol and niacinamide both of which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
You can also find niacinamide inside of this product by SkinMedica (link to Amazon) which is more designed for older skin and for anti-aging.
You can’t go wrong with either product, just make sure that you buy from a reputable source to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product!
Niacinamide is generally very well tolerated!
That means that most of you will not have a problem when using this vitamin directly on your skin.
The most common side effect seen while using it has to do with skin flushing.
But don’t worry, this side effect is usually temporary and not harmful but it may be annoying.
Redness and flushing of the skin can also occur when taking vitamin B3 by mouth (you know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever taken a high dose!).
This can be avoided by using small doses and by only placing a small amount on your skin at a time.
If you find that you are sensitive to the flushing simply try using it once every other day instead of daily.
Other side effects may include irritation (rare) but this will go away when you stop using it.
The bottom line?
Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is a highly effective vitamin which can enhance your skin at multiple different levels.
Daily use of niacinamide can help prevent yellowing of the skin, enhance skin moisture, slow down the aging process, protect your skin from cancer, and even out your skin tone.
These benefits have been well documented in the scientific literature where you can read more about them!
If you choose to use this vitamin make sure you find a high-quality product and try to find one that contains niacinamide (instead of nicotinic acid).
Now I want to hear from you:
Are you currently using niacinamide?
Is it working for you?
Do you want to try it?
Why or why not?
Leave your comments below!
As an aesthetician, I can tell you that one of the most tempting things to use on your face, if you have acne, is anything that you may feel will make it look better faster.
But is that actually a good idea?
Does using Neosporin help to heal your face? Or will it cause more damage?
The answer is that it is almost certainly not a good idea to use Neosporin if you have acne, but let’s talk about the reasons why.
In this post, we will also discuss other options available to you to help soothe your skin and treat your acne.
Let’s jump in:
Why is it so tempting to use Neosporin for acne?
Well, with the promise that Neosporin can heal cuts quicker than your body, it’s tempting to think it may work on your acne as well.
But, it’s just not the case.
To understand why that is we need to talk a little bit about acne.
The best advice you can get when it comes to acne is to simply leave your skin alone!
If you pick at your face around a blackhead or a whitehead, you run the risk of damaging the skin and causing local inflammation.
This inflammation is referred to as cellulitis when it is located on the skin.
When you mess around with your face you cause irritation, inflammation, and it actually makes your pimple look even worse.
Not only that, but you also run the risk of pushing the substance inside of the pimple even farther into your skin which takes it even longer to come to a head.
And that’s when Neosporin looks enticing.
Why not use a triple antibiotic ointment to try and help your skin heal even faster?
Doesn’t that sound good?
It does until you realize that acne isn’t an infection! And that antibiotics can actually cause a worse reaction on your face and skin.
And that’s exactly why I don’t recommend it.
Antibiotics are designed to treat infections in the skin, not inflammation.
When you have acne, the redness that you see is the result of local inflammation (often made worse by picking at your face).
So, using an antibiotic will have no positive benefit in these situations.
What’s even worse is that antibiotics are not necessarily harmless substances either.
Especially not when placed on the sensitive skin of your face including the nose, eyes, and neck.
In fact, it is estimated that up to 20% of people react to the polymyxin found inside of Neosporin and other triple antibiotic ointments.
People who react negatively to Neosporin often react with a rash, swelling, or worsening redness!
Does that sound like something that you want to have happened if your primary goal is to heal your face even faster?
The answer is obviously no and this is probably the number 1 reason I don’t recommend the use of Neosporin for acne.
But what else is in Neosporin?
Neosporin and other triple antibiotic ointments contain a combination of 3 antibiotic ingredients.
Usually, they contain the following: Polymyxin B, Neomycin, and bacitracin.
These antibiotics may be great if you suspect that you have a superficial (small) infection after a cut or bruise, but they should not be used on your face if you do not have an infection.
We know that the indiscriminate use of antibiotics (oral or topical) can lead to changes in the bacterial concentration in your gut and on your skin.
What you may not realize is that bacteria live on your skin and this bacteria contribute to the glow, look, and feel of your skin.
Killing off this bacteria (and allowing bad bacteria to grow in) will only cause more harm down the road and may increase your risk of developing acne.
So what are you supposed to do instead?
My recommendation is to take a more holistic and safe approach to treat acne and putting ointments on your skin.
In many cases, you may want to simply avoid using anything other than a cleanser or an astringent on your skin (this helps keep bacterial levels healthy and prevent excess oil production).
But what if you want to use some spot treatment?
Spot treatment is the use of targeted ointments and creams directly on your pimple (or pimples) without affecting the surrounding tissues.
Certain ingredients can actually accelerate the development of your pimple and help it come to a head even faster.
Ingredients which can do this include:
These therapies can help treat isolated pimples but should not necessarily be used on your entire face.
It’s also important to realize that some oral supplements (such as Zinc, Vitamin C, and probiotics) may help treat your acne.
But those recommendations only target the pimples that you are already suffering from.
What are you supposed to do about preventing future pimples from occurring?
In order to do this, you may need to change the way that you evaluate acne.
I tend to get the best results with clients by taking an approach which takes into account both the inside of the body and the outside.
In this approach, acne is the cause of something wrong with the inside of your body and the pimples are a manifestation of that problem.
The good news is that you can treat this issue, but it does take a unique approach and one that includes both topical ointments and serums but also a look at what you put into your body.
To treat acne you will want to take a look at the following:
Instead of using Neosporin as a ‘quick fix’ for your pimples, make sure you treat the root cause and prevent future breakouts from occurring!
But, beyond just what you put on your skin, or inside of your body, there are also other therapies which can definitely help prevent breakouts but also help to heal your skin even faster and even out your skin tone and texture.
I’m a huge fan of these therapies, partly because I do them on a daily basis, but also because I think they are amazing and work great!
Other therapies for acne which may help include:
The bottom line?
You’ll want to avoid the use of Neosporin if you have acne and instead focus on other therapies designed to treat the underlying cause of your acne or pimple.
Avoiding Neosporin is important because it can worsen inflammation, increase irritation, increase redness, and delay the healing time of your pimple.
Better options include using targeted gels and serums directly on your pimple and to stick to using cleansers and astringents on your face in the morning and night.
Now I want to hear from you:
Have you used Neosporin for acne in the past?
Did it work for you?
Why or why not?
What other treatments have helped reduce or cut back your acne?
Leave your questions or comments below!
How much does microneedling cost?
Is the price of this procedure ACTUALLY worth it?
Will microneedling give you long-lasting results? Will it help you look younger or tighten your skin?
In this post we will discuss the cost of microneedling, why it varies between locations, how to determine if you should get it done and more:
If you aren’t familiar with microneedling let me fill you in:
All of these benefits are produced through the microneedling process whereby thousands (yes thousands!) of tiny needles are poked through the superficial layers of your skin causing minor pinpoint bleeding and minor trauma to the top layers of your skin.
This “damage” results in a powerful rejuvenation process when your body initiates the healing process.
The best part about this procedure is that it is relatively quick (usually 20-30 minutes) and doesn’t hurt (too much).
There are 2 main ways to do this procedure (and one is obviously better than the other):
#1. Use an electric microneedling pen with lots of tiny needles.
This is the preferred method because it provides the best results, but it will require a visit to an office with a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or aesthetician.
The more pokes you get the more rejuvenation you get during the healing process.
When people ask about the price of microneedling they are usually referring to this procedure.
#2. Use a needle or tip of an insulin needle to poke the skin manually or use something like a dermaroller.
But using a microneedling pen isn’t the only option.
There is an at home option in which you can use a dermaroller (a roller ball with lots of needles on it) or a simple insulin needle tip.
It’s important to realize that this is definitely a cheaper option, but the results are nowhere near as noticeable when compared to the microneedling pen.
If you are in a pinch for money, though, then this may be a potential option for you.
We will discuss more about the differences below, but for now, let’s talk about the cost.
So how much will microneedling put you back if you want to do it?
And are the results actually worth it?
I have to say that, in my opinion, the results are absolutely worth it, provided you can find a reasonable price.
I even have my husband get it done because of how much I love it.
So, back to the price.
One round of microneedling will cost anywhere from $150 to $600!
It’s very important for you to realize that this is for only ONE session.
Once you get it done you will most likely want to get it done again and again because the results tend to stack on top of each other.
Most people can start to see benefits after the first session, but for conditions such as scarring or pock-marking, you may need to get several sessions (up to 6).
For anti-aging and skin tightening, I recommend that you get this procedure done at least 6 times.
You will notice that with each session your skin gets tighter and brighter which will keep you coming back for more.
But why is there such a big price variation between services?
After all, isn’t it the same procedure?
The answer is yes, and the reason for pricing comes from the various costs associated with purchasing the microneedling pen!
Health devices (such as a microneedling pen) are quite expensive, usually on the order of thousands of dollars, and the people who buy them have to make the money back.
This drives up the price of the procedure.
It also creates a price difference because providers don’t always pay the same amount for the pen.
This means that you can get the exact same procedure for $200 when it would cost $600 at another location.
This is why it pays to search around for people with good prices!
The short answer is YES, the long answer is MAYBE.
It really depends on what you are getting it for and how much you are paying.
I recommend searching for someone who will charge no more than $300, but preferably closer to $200 to $250.
Microneedling, at this price range, becomes a no-brainer due to how effective it is.
If you can’t find anyone locally at this price, then it may be a good idea to search for some of the home options available.
Most of the time you can find new medspa’s which have deals for these types of procedures.
The problem with going to someone new is that you don’t know if they have a high-quality pen or have any experience.
The good news is that microneedling is not necessarily a very “technical” procedure to get done (so it doesn’t always matter who you go to).
The bottom line?
Look for someone who charges between $200 and $300 per session and try to avoid paying more if you can.
There is a big difference between “medical microneedling” and at-home microneedling.
Medical microneedling is a procedure, usually done in office, in which the needs can penetrate more deeply into the skin.
At-home microneedling generally only touches the VERY superficial layers of your skin.
But, as you can imagine, the deeper you go into the skin the better the results (provided you don’t go too far of course).
This makes medical microneedling far more superior, in terms of benefits to you, when compared to at-home versions.
At-home versions such as the dermaroller, can and do help provide results, but probably aren’t great if you are seriously interested in anti-aging or treating acne scars.
As the roller goes over the skin, some of the needles penetrate the skin and provide the healing results we discussed previously.
The problem is that it doesn’t go nearly as deep as medical microneedling.
But at a cheaper price point, it may be the only option available to you.
Microneedling can be a very affordable and worth-while procedure, provided you get it at the right price.
The overall price of microneedling can vary between $150 and $600 per session.
Try to find someone who charges between $200 and $300 per session.
If you can’t afford this price range then you can try some of the at-home options as well.
Now I want to hear from you:
Have you had microneedling done?
Did it work for you?
Did it help tighten your skin or treat your acne?
Why or why not?
Leave your comments below!
Are you interested in Cool Sculpting?
Are you wondering if it will work for your body?
Did you know that there are other non invasive weight loss therapies out there that may work as well?
In this guide you will learn everything you need to know about Cool Sculpting including how it works, how effective it is at helping you with fat loss, common side effects and other alternatives to consider before you get this procedure.
Let’s jump in:
I’m sure at this point you’ve at least heard of Cool Sculpting.
It’s marketed as a non surgical weight loss device which helps to cut down on fat.
But how does it work and does it actually work?
Let’s start with the basics first:
Notice that the name states that it is NOT a weight loss therapy.
It is a fat-reduction treatment.
So what is the difference there?
Well, when we talk about having extra fat on our bodies we often think of people being overweight.
So it makes sense that if we target fat cells and reduce them shouldn’t we lose weight?
In reality it doesn’t work that way.
Cool sculpting does NOT help with weight loss but it may alter the cosmetic appearance and shrink the size of existing fat cells.
So what it does is change how you look in the mirror but it does NOT change your weight.
Another good thing that Cool Sculpting has going for it is the fact that it is FDA cleared.
But what does that mean?
Being FDA cleared means that the FDA has allowed it to be used for certain purposes and it can claim that it can be used for that purpose.
In the Medical World people can’t just make claims about products unless they actually do what they say they do.
You can compare this to the cosmetic industry and the supplement industry.
These industries can make claims that are not true and not supported by medical science, which makes it difficult to tell what works and what doesn’t.
The rules are different for medical devices (which Cool Sculpting falls into) which means that Cool Sculpting needs to be proven to work through clinical studies.
So this is a good thing if you are interested in Cool Sculpting but it doesn’t mean that other non-invasive therapies don’t work.
The problem with getting FDA Cleared is that it costs a lot of money and time.
So many products don’t go through the hassle of getting approved because it’s simply cheaper to sell their products and not go through the testing.
We will discuss other options below, but for now let’s stay focused on Cool Sculpting…
And if it works, how does it work?
Cool Sculpting works by reducing the temperature of fat cells which causes direct damage to the cells and results in breakdown of your fat cells and therefore shrinkage.
The official “mechanism of action” is apoptosis which means cell death (in this case it’s referring to fat cells).
The idea is that your fat cells become damaged at a higher temperature than the surrounding skin.
So scientists developed a machine which drops the temperature of the skin, dermis and epidermis but does not damage these structures in the process.
But because fat cells are damaged at a different temperature they are damaged in the procedure and then shrink in size.
So Cool Sculpting allows a way to reduce fat cells WITHOUT damaging other skin tissues and structures.
Because this is different than other procedures (such as ultrasonic cavitation) results are not immediately apparent right after treatment.
In order for your fat cells to actually shrink there must be an inflammatory component which comes in and cleans up the fat cells.
This takes anywhere from 14-30 days and is the reason that results are often considered “delayed”.
So right when you walk out of the treatment room you will NOT notice any difference.
It can take up to 2-3 months for final results to be seen.
But the real question is this:
Does damaging fat cells actually work to reduce the size and appearance of fat tissues?
The answer is Yes, sort of, maybe.
In order for cool sculpting to work you must be an “ideal candidate” which means that you fit certain criteria.
In fact, Cool sculpting does not work on all areas of your body:
In order for Cool Sculpting to work there must be sufficient amount of skin and fat, if there isn’t enough in the area then the procedure simply won’t work.
This doesn’t mean you will see a 20-25% reduction in your measurements, but it does mean that most people do respond with changes to their appearance.
You can’t take these percentages at face value because they don’t take into account extra skin, fat cells that are deeper in the body or around the organs.
These studies also report that up to 73% of people who underwent the procedure were considered “satisfied” with the results.
Another point worth mentioning is that
If you decide to get Cool Sculpting done how much can you expect to pay?
Unfortunately the procedure is quite expensive, especially when compared to the other body contouring options available.
In order to get optimal results you will often need to purchase a “package program” which means that you will need to come back for several sessions.
Results from 1 session are often not that great, so several sessions are often necessary to lose a significant amount of fat.
The amount of sessions that you need will depend on the amount of fat that you have and the area you are looking to treat.
The abdomen will need more sessions than your upper arm area and so on.
But on average you can expect to pay around $2,000 to $4,000 dollars or around $1,000 to $ $1,500 per area.
The more areas you need treated (such as the abdomen, arms and butt area) may run up to $4,000 or more.
A lot of the price varies and is based on the location where you live.
Larger cities tend to charge more than smaller cities.
Why the difference in the price?
The price is usually based on the provider offering the service, but you can sometimes find groupons and other ways to help reduce the total cost.
The real expense to the medical spa offering the procedure is the consumable portions of the machine which they need to purchase after every use, and the prices of these consumables is controlled by the company that creates the Cool Sculpting machine.
So until these consumables decrease in cost the total cost of Cool Sculpting is likely to remain where it is for a while.
Determining if Cool Sculpting is worth it will largely depend on your individual circumstance.
If you’ve exhausted all of your other options and you haven’t had any luck losing weight then Cool Sculpting may be the best option for you.
In many cases, however, it may be smarter to spend less money on other therapies first and then use Cool Sculpting or other body contouring options as a last resort.
I’m not going to include any before or after photos here, but I want to say one important thing when you look at these photos:
Before and after photos offered by Cool Sculpting (and other providers) often show the BEST CASE SCENARIO.
If you notice they will always say something like “these results are not typical”.
So even though the before and after pictures are real (probably), it doesn’t mean that your results will look the same.
It’s often best to look for businesses that show you the “great” results as well as the “average” results, so be on the look out for both.
It’s also worth pointing out that your results depend on the skill of the person using the device.
So make sure that you find a location that has someone who is properly trained to use the device!
It’s also important to know that Cool Sculpting isn’t the only option in town!
There are actually MANY other body contouring services that may work better than Cool Sculpting (depending on the individual).
These other procedures are often cheaper than Cool Sculpting as well and may be a better option to at least explore.
Other body contouring options include:
Is Cool Sculpting safe?
The long answer is that we don’t really know.
The short answer is that it is generally well tolerated.
The reason we don’t really know if it is safe long term is because it hasn’t been around that long.
So even though the results may be good over the course of 5-10 years we have no idea what those results will look like 20 years down the road.
It’s also worth pointing out that Cool Sculpting does indeed damage your fat cells and there is currently no evidence that they can grow back or regenerate.
This is important to consider because what it means is that once fat cells are destroyed they will never grow back in the same spot.
There is some concern that if you re-gain fat mass they may start to aggregate or form in other strange areas of your body – such as your upper arms or lower legs.
So long term we aren’t really sure, but what about short term?
There is very little to zero risk of developing scarring, ulceration or disfigurement to the skin itself.
In addition only minor bruising is occasionally seem along with some pain during the procedure.
There is a small risk of causing inflammation to the fat cells in your body, known as panniculitis, but this isn’t seen very often.
So the short term side effects are minimal but we don’t have a lot of data about the long term consequences.
The biggest thing to worry about is the potential for long term regrowth of fat cells and an abnormal distribution of fat cells in your body if you gain weight at a later time.
When considering Cool Sculpting the real question is this:
Should you take the risk and spend the money to get this procedure done instead of going another more safe route?
Perhaps another, and better, alternative to Cool Sculpting is using weight loss (and fat loss) medications and therapies which have been shown to work and do not cause serious side effects.
What kind of therapies am I talking about?
The point is don’t think that you are out of options!
But what if you’ve tried all of these and they haven’t worked?
In that case it may be worth sitting down and considering if Cool Sculpting (or other therapies) are right for you.
It absolutely may be the case that getting Cool Sculpting is worth the peace of mind and the increase in self confidence that it may produce!
Just make sure that you exhaust and look at ALL options before you jump in.
Cool Sculpting is a non invasive procedure that may help you to contour your body and reduce the shape and appearance of your fat.
Before you get this procedure done make sure that you look at all non invasive alternatives and make sure that you have exhausted other, more safe, weight loss therapies!
For those who do decide to undergo Cool Sculpting you can take comfort in the fact that most people are very happy with their results and there are usually no immediate side effects.
Before you get it done just realize we don’t know how people will respond to this therapy long term (the studies aren’t there yet) because it is a relatively new procedure.
But now I want to hear from you:
Have you tried cool sculpting?
Did it work for you?
Are you considering getting it done?
What other procedures have you tried?
Leave your comments below!
Are you suffering from razor bumps?
Do you get tiny red bumps that pop up on your body after you shave?
If so then this guide will help you understand everything you need to know about razor bumps including how they start, where they pop up, how to treat them and how to protect your skin long term.
Let’s jump in:
Have you ever wondered what Razor bumps are or what actually causes them?
The answer may surprise you.
Razor bumps (otherwise known as pseudofolliculitis barbae or PFB for short) is actually an inflammatory condition that is often triggered by shaving.
The term pseudofolliculitis is important because it basically describes this disease.
Pseudo means fake and folliculitis means infection (or inflammation) of hair follicles.
So when you break down the word it actually means fake hair infection or inflammation.
And this is important!
It means that razor bumps are actually an inflammatory process and this process is triggered by hair follicles and the way they try to “escape” the skin.
Abnormal shaving patterns can alter hair follicle integrity and cause your hair to exit the skin in an abnormal path.
This results in inflammation in the skin which causes redness, irritation and the classical red bumps associated with razor bumps!
And the thing is that razor bumps are more than just a cosmetic issue.
Long term and recurrent razor bumps can lead to scarring of the skin, hyperpigmentation (discoloration) and even scars or keloids.
This means it’s in your best interest to figure out how to stop razor bumps from popping up or at the very least reduce the frequency with which you get them!
One of the main triggers of razor bumps is shaving.
While shaving you are cutting the shaft of the hair follicle and creating a smaller, sharper object than what existed before.
If you’ve ever had long hair and cut it really short then you know what I’m talking about.
Long hair has different properties than short hair – meaning long hair is usually “softer”, it “lays down” easier and may not be as course.
But what happens when you cut your hair short?
That same hair now becomes more rigid, less flexible and more coarse.
This change in hair quality as it changes length may contribute to creating
When you consider that we often “shrink” the skin before
Razor bumps are most commonly seen on the face area after shaving (especially in men).
But women are not immunized from this condition either!
Women with dark, curly hair, or just genetics may also experience razor bumps especially when shaving their legs, inner thighs or bikini area.
Razor bumps can pop up anywhere that there is hair on your body that is coarse including:
Razor bumps are diagnosed clinically, which means you can diagnose them just by looking at the skin and by evaluating your history.
Do you develop red bumps after you shave?
Do these red bumps go away on their own after a time?
Do you have dark, thick or naturally curly hair?
Do you also have a history of ingrown hairs?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then there is a good chance that what you are experiencing is razor bumps.
The actual clinical presentation of razor bumps is as follows.
1-2 days after shaving you experience red bumps on your face that sometimes look like white heads.
The scientific term for this is a papule pustule.
The area that was shaved is often very sensitive, may bleed during shaving and often remains red and irritated for several days after shaving.
The white bumps and redness tend to fade over the course of 3-7 days as your hair grows out.
The process then repeats itself after you shave.
So what factors increase your risk for developing razor bumps?
Believe it or not, for something that is as common as razor bumps we really don’t have a great understanding of how to treat it.
Scientists agree that there is probably some genetic component that plays a role, but beyond that we only have list of risk factors which may predispose you to developing them.
These risk factors include:
The definitive treatment (at least from a dermatology perspective) is to focus on prevention as opposed to treatment.
Prevention means that you basically want to avoid shaving or other known triggers.
Beyond simply not shaving (which isn’t always an option for everyone) you can focus on some other techniques which will reduce your RISK of developing razor bumps.
Is there a difference between razor bumps and ingrown hairs?
Yes, but the difference is subtle and it really depends on how you define both.
It may be better to consider razor bumps and ingrown hairs on a spectrum or continuum.
In this setting razor bumps can be considered as tiny ingrown hairs that eventually resolve on their own.
In dermatology there are two different ways that this can occur:
Extrafollicular means that your hair follicles never make it outside of your skin and instead form a tiny bump.
This type of ingrown hair is concerning because it may continue to cause long term irritation and require removal at some point.
Transfollicular means that the hair exists the skin but then curls and starts to grow back into the skin at another point.
This type of in grown hair can usually be removed with the use of tweezers which prevents further damage.
When removing transfollicular hairs make sure that you do not completely tweeze out the hair though!
Doing so may increase your risk of developing ingrown hairs in the future.
The idea behind treating razor bumps is to both reduce your risk for developing them but also to reduce the amount that you might get.
So even if you know that you’re going to get razor bumps after you shave you may be able to reduce the AMOUNT of them by 50% or more.
You can do this by using certain techniques outlined below:
The basic idea around shaving correctly is as follows:
You first want to warm the skin up with hot water prior to shaving.
This stage helps increase poor size, which opens up the skin and exposes hair follicles.
The next step is to use proper shaving lather or cream.
This step is important because it helps reduce inflammation and helps the razor cut hair follicles in a uniform way.
Next you want to make sure you use a high quality razor and cut the hair ALONG the grain or in the way that your hair naturally grows.
If you suffer from razor bumps do NOT shave against the grain.
Remember that the hair in your skin tends to grow out in a certain direction.
If you create a cut in the hair that is not in line with how it grows out of your hair follicles then you may be trigger razor bumps as it grows out.
The last step is to “shock” the skin with cold water which helps close the pores.
This process will help reduce the chance that your hairs will grow into the skin by providing them with a “track” to grow out of.
Using a high quality razor is also very important to reduce razor bumps.
This means using a razor which is very sharp and one that glides over the skin with ease.
The goal here is to reduce any chance of inflaming the skin which will increase the odds of developing razor bumps.
Another important part of reducing razor bumps is to avoid picking, scratching or otherwise irritating any existing razor bumps.
Remember that they are primarily caused by inflammation to the skin follicle.
Any further damage to the skin will only make the inflammation worse and increase swelling to the area.
Any swelling will further increase your risk of developing razor bumps in the future in a vicious cycle.
Even if your razor bumps develop a “white head” do your best to avoid picking at them.
Just realize that they WILL naturally fade over time.
Another strategy is to reduce any existing inflammation on your face (or body) before you shave.
This means addressing any issues on the skin such as acne, rosacea or other inflammatory conditions.
It also means using a high quality face wash.
Most dermatologists recommend using face washes designed to treat acne if you suffer from razor bumps.
The reason for this is that acne based cleansers often help to normalize bacteria on the skin and containing soothing ingredients such as aloe and certain vitamins which can promote faster healing.
If you suffer from razor bumps then consider using a high quality face wash (or body wash) which contains glycolic acid.
I recommend a product such as this:
And yes, you can use this cleanser on your legs or other places.
It’s also important to moisturize your skin and keep it healthy in between shaving.
This means using a moisturizer (on your entire body), especially if you live in a dry climate or if you have dry skin!
It’s also important to moisturize more intimate areas such as your underarms and your bikini area if you suffer from dry skin on your body.
Always remember to let your skin heal before you shave.
Shaving can be a traumatic experience to the skin and add fuel to the flames if you already have existing razor bumps.
Before you shave make sure that your existing razor bumps are completely healed and ensure that you do not have any residual redness, irritation or blotching of the skin.
Razor bumps can be a tricky thing to treat and prevent, but with the right steps you may be able to reduce both the appearance and frequency with which they appear.
These recommendations are relevant for both men and women and they apply to all areas of the body!
Your #1 priority when treating razor bumps should be to prevent them at all costs (it’s much more difficult to treat them once they pop up).
Doing so will help prevent long term side effects from chronic razor bumps such as scarring.
Now I want to hear from you:
What tricks do you use to prevent razor bumps?
Which ones have worked well for you?
Leave your comments below so that you can help others!
Perioral dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition which is incredibly difficult to treat and tends to last for months to years.
One of the problems with this skin disease is that there aren’t a lot of good therapies out there and many physicians tend to use therapies that may make the condition worse.
In this guide you will learn how to treat perioral dermatitis naturally and effectively to help you regain your self confidence and your face back:
Perioral dermatitis is really just an inflammatory condition of the skin which results in redness, rash and papule like eruptions.
The term “peri” means next to and the word “oral” means the mouth.
So if we break apart the word it literally means a skin rash that is around the mouth.
Don’t let this fool you, though!
Just because the name says it has to be around the mouth doesn’t mean it always is.
In fact most cases of perioral dermatitis tend to be around the eyes and nose as well as the mouth.
Perioral dermatitis is classified into a larger group of skin disorders known as dermatitis, but it should really be considered its own group because of how different it is.
Dermatitis is a waste basket term which is used to describe ANY skin conditions which results in inflammation.
Because dermatitis is caused by inflammation the treatment is often the use of steroids which act as anti-inflammatory agents on the skin.
This works out great for regular dermatitis but can actually make perioral dermatitis even worse.
It is estimated that about 0.5 to 1% of the population will suffer from this skin condition which makes it actually quite common.
And the majority of those people who develop this condition tend to be young (children) or women!
But despite the fact that it is very common Doctors really don’t understand the disease that well and there aren’t many therapies or treatments.
In fact, because not many doctors understand the condition they may actually make it worse by prescribing ointments such as steroids which are known to make the disease worse.
So why is perioral dermatitis so difficult to treat?
Part of the reason has to do with the fact that we don’t understand exactly what causes the condition.
We do understand that there are some potential things that tend to “trigger” the disease.
And these are very important because if we understand how the disease state is triggered then we can actively avoid those triggers!
It has also been suggested that perioral dermatitis results from an imbalance in bacterial concentrations or damage to the acid mantle on the surface of your skin.
As this imbalance occurs your body responds with the inflammatory process known as perioral dermatitis.
This theory exists because, at least in some individuals, antibiotics and even probiotics have been shown to be effective in treating the disease.
With this concept in mind let’s talk about the potential triggers of this disease:
They key here is to KNOW and understand the triggers of perioral dermatitis.
If you understand the triggers then you can actively avoid them.
The reason this is so important is because it’s VERY tempting to use skin products such as steroids because they can temporarily reduce the symptoms of perioral dermatitis but you have to consider that often steroids make the problem worse.
This often leads to an exacerbation of symptoms on the skin once people stop using topical steroids, but it’s a necessary step!
The #1 most important part of treating perioral dermatitis is to stop using pretty much ANYTHING on your face that isn’t necessary.
This includes make-up, topical steroids and other cosmetics that you may use.
Even moisturizers may contain chemicals or other ingredients that can flare up your symptoms.
I know it’s tempting to want to put something on it, but this is really a condition where less is more.
The best thing you can do for your face is let it heal naturally and over time (there are some things you can use which we will talk about later).
Most skin regimens include multiple products such as cleansers, toners and moisturizers.
The general advice is to use all of these steps to help your skin and under normal conditions this would be true – but it isn’t for perioral dermatitis.
When treating this condition make sure you use ONLY a gentle cleanser – and I mean gentle.
You want your cleanser to have as few inactive ingredients and chemicals as possible.
You also want to make sure that your cleanser is something that you KNOW you will tolerate, hopefully something you’ve used in the past with success.
The goal of using a cleanser is to help naturally exfoliate your epidermis but without overdoing it.
If you aren’t sure what an gentle cleanser looks like or where to get one you can see my recommendation below:
It is thought that perioral dermatitis is probably triggered by changes to the bacteria concentrations on your skin and probably in your intestines.
We already know that what happens INSIDE of your body will alter what happens on the outside, so it may be helpful to think about perioral dermatitis in a similar way.
If you start looking around the internet you will find that some of the most common treatments for perioral dermatitis include natural products such as apple cider vinegar and sometimes the use of antibiotics.
Why do you think these therapies are helpful?
Some doctors think that antibiotics help to regulate bacterial concentrations on the skin which helps treat the disease.
We also know that apple cider vinegar has potent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial effects – meaning it may act as a “topical antibiotic” for your skin.
Does this mean you should run out and use antibiotics?
A better approach may be to focus on naturally bringing back healthy bacterial levels in your gut and on your skin with the use of probiotics and fermented foods.
This is a more natural way to regulate your skin as opposed to trying to kill everything off.
In fact, sometimes antibiotics can make perioral dermatitis WORSE.
When using probiotics make sure you find a high quality probiotic with at least 100 billion CFU per serving and one that contains both bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species.
Using probiotics daily for 3-6 months during your treatment should work well and in some individuals is all they need to fix the problem.
So what about fermented foods?
You can think about fermented foods as natural sources of probiotics.
The fermentation process actually creates an abundance of natural yeasts and bacteria that you then eat.
Adding even a little bit of fermented foods to your diet can do wonders for your gut health AND for your skin!
You can see an example of a high quality probiotic here:
If you are tempted to use ANY products at all then it’s best to use organic based products such as apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) for short is one of the few things that may actually help treat perioral dermatitis.
ACV probably works by improving bacterial levels on the skin, killing off bad bacteria, by improving your acid mantle and by adding a little bit of exfoliation to your skin.
One of the potential downsides of using ACV is that it can be a powerful acid that you are placing on your skin.
Persistent use of ACV may actually cause redness and irritation of the skin and may make perioral dermatitis worse (if used excessively).
The best way to use ACV is to apply it to a cotton swab and then dab in on your face (try to avoid swirling or rubbing) and only on the areas with dermatitis.
Do this once per day and see how you tolerate it, if you do okay then you can move to daily application.
If you start getting more redness and more irritation then back off and don’t use it because it may make your condition worse!
You’ll want to get an organic version of ACV which includes “the mother” because this tends to have more helpful bacteria.
I recommend a product like this one:
Another way to treat perioral dermatitis is to use topical probiotic creams and gels.
You probably are well aware of probiotics that you can consume through pills or powders, but you may not realize that you can also use probiotics by applying them directly to your skin.
This may sound funny until you realize that your skin is a HUGE organ (in fact the largest on your body) and it has a bacterial ecosystem JUST like your gut.
Just like taking too many oral antibiotics (meaning by mouth) can damage your gut and cause constipation, yeast infections and so on, using topical antibiotics can do the SAME thing for your skin.
In fact we’ve discussed previously that one of the triggers of perioral dermatitis may be a change in bacterial skin concentrations and damage to the acid mantle.
You can fight this process by DIRECTLY applying probiotics right to your skin (which has many health benefits).
In order to do this you need to use specific products, though.
Don’t think that just using a probiotic powder on your skin will work – it won’t be absorbed into your skin!
It has to be in the right formulation.
So with this in mind some people may find success using certain creams that contain beneficial probiotics such as lactobacillus species.
I recommend using a probiotic like this one:
You don’t have to jump into using topical probiotics right away – in fact you might save this as an option for later if the other more basic therapies don’t work.
Another consideration is the use of topical or oral antibiotics.
Now this is one of the therapies (and only therapies) that your Doctor may try to prescribe to you during treatment.
Most of the time Doctors will see you and may recommend steroids (make sure you avoid this at all costs!).
But occasionally some Doctors may recommend either topical or oral antibiotics.
Antibiotics tend to be hit or miss in terms of how effective they are for certain people.
Part of this probably has to do with the fact that we really don’t understand what causes perioral dermatitis, so if your issue wasn’t related to bacterial levels then it probably won’t help.
So how do you know if you should use it?
It’s probably a good idea to seek out a dermatologist if you aren’t seeing results with more natural therapies over 6 months or so.
Another thing that you will want to COMPLETELY avoid is the use of any cosmetic procedure which may cause extra damage to your skin.
Procedures that fit into this category include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser therapy and so on.
The way that these therapies work is by DAMAGING the skin and initiating the healing response which rejuvenates the skin and helps reverse the aging process.
This is great if your skin is currently healthy but it can make perioral dermatitis WORSE because it falls into the “trauma” category.
So during the healing stage make sure that you avoid the use of any cosmetic procedure such as these.
It is probably okay to ease back into these procedures once you have completely healed but make sure to give your skin a long break before you add back powerful treatments.
Part of the problem in treating perioral dermatitis comes from the fact that most physicians aren’t comfortable with treating it (except dermatologists).
The standard treatment for people who walk into a Doctors office with a rash is for the Doctor to prescribe a steroid.
This will work about 99% of the time which is why they do it.
The use of steroids may temporarily suppress the inflammation but it will ALWAYS come back and it only makes it worse over time.
For this reason you have to avoid topical steroids 100%.
If you are using steroids to “block” the rash then you have to stop using them and allow it to “flare” before you can start healing.
You can expect your dermatitis to flare after you stop using topical steroids for a short period of time and it may seem worse, but this is the only way to heal.
Persistent and chronic use of topical steroids can actually cause serious problems including atrophy and premature aging of your skin – so this isn’t a long term solution anyway.
You’ll find that most primary care physicians probably do not know how to treat perioral dermatitis, so you may have to get a referral to a Dermatologist in order to get proper treatment.
Once you head to a dermatologist they will almost always pull you off of the steroid and maybe put you on antibiotics.
You can cut out the middle man by simply discontinuing your topical steroids first.
If you are serious about getting rid of your dermatitis then you HAVE to stop the steroids.
And realize that in some individuals the use of steroids is enough to TRIGGER this type of dermatitis.
When treating perioral dermatitis you need to set your expectations up early and part of this has to do with how long you need to undergo treatment and how patient you need to be.
It’s worth noting that treating perioral dermatitis is like a marathon NOT a sprint.
This means that you need to have patience and you need to stick to your regimen and trust in the process.
There really aren’t any quick tricks that you can take advantage of to get rid of your dermatitis in just a few short days.
Instead you need to be in it for the long game and be ready and willing to wait weeks to months.
Is it true that some people can “cure” their disease within a few days?
But this isn’t normal.
And the length of treatment time probably depends on the cause or trigger in your body.
So if you’ve been using steroid creams for months then you can’t realistically expect your dermatitis to fade in a matter of a few days.
When I was treating my perioral dermatitis it took a good 3-4 months for it to heal about 98% and it completely faded by 6 months.
The first 1-2 months I only saw about a 5-10% improvement and then by 3-4 months there was a HUGE reduction in symptoms.
Your healing process may follow a similar trend.
In addition to the therapies and tips listed above you will also want to follow a couple of other guidelines which may help you get on the right track.
The first is your diet:
Remember that perioral dermatitis may be triggered by things that are going on INSIDE of your body as well as those on the outside.
Because of this you should take all reasonable steps to improve what you put INTO your body to help the healing process.
This includes your diet!
During the healing process I recommend that you focus on eating all organic products, PLENTY of fruits and vegetables and cut back on the sugar.
All of these will help improve your gut function and reduce inflammation in your body.
The second is water intake:
Next you need to be sure that you are staying adequately hydrated!
Hydration helps improve the quality and texture of your skin and helps you eliminate toxins.
Remember your body only has 4 ways to eliminate toxins: urination, stool, breath and sweat.
You want to make sure that you MAXIMIZE all of these!
Focus on drinking up to 1 gallon per day.
The third is sun exposure:
Last on the list is sun exposure and this may be another big one.
During the healing process it’s probably safer to avoid the sun as much as possible to avoid any extra damage to your skin.
In some diseases (such as psoriasis) sun exposure may be therapeutic, but there isn’t enough information to say whether or not it’s helpful in perioral dermatitis.
Because of this it’s probably safer to simply avoid direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time to your face.
If you simply avoid the sun you can then also avoid the use of daily sunscreen which may just irritate your skin as well.
What should you do if nothing else is working?
When is it time to see a doctor?
In my experience many people are completely able to “cure” themselves simply by following the steps above, but not everyone will be comfortable with this idea.
If you are one of those people or if you haven’t had any results despite doing the therapies listed above for 6 months straight it may be time to see a dermatologist.
Try to avoid going to see a family practice doctor though! Chances are high that they won’t know how to treat you and may set you back by giving you steroids or other ineffective facial creams.
Perioral dermatitis is a strange and unique form of dermatitis which primarily affects women and children and can be seriously damaging to self esteem due to how difficult it is to treat.
The best way to treat perioral dermatitis may simply be to leave your skin alone and let it heal naturally!
For some people, however, you can also use natural and gentle skin based products which act to improve bacterial concentrations on the skin and inside your body.
Now I want to hear from you:
Are you suffering from perioral dermatitis?
Have you been able to reduce the appearance of your rash?
What has worked for you? What hasn’t?
Leave your comments below!
Are you suffering from Melasma?
Have you tried treating it without any luck?
If you fall into either category then this Melasma treatment guide will help you understand how to treat Melasma from the inside and the outside including therapies designed to help balance your hormones AND promote skin lightening.
So what exactly is Melasma?
Melasma is a skin disorder, in fact it’s the most common skin pigment disorder, which results in hyperpigmentation of certain areas of the skin.
Hyperpigementation simply means an abnormal darkening of the skin due to stimulation of the pigment producing cells known as Melanocytes.
The pigmentation in this disorder tends to be symmetrical (meaning that it’s the same on both sides of your body/face) and is often referred to as the mask of pregnancy.
Despite Melasma being so common there aren’t a lot of known treatments!
This leaves people who suffer from Melasma often jumping around from product to product trying to figure out what will work for them.
Luckily there are some therapies that YOU can use to treat Melasma, but in order to understand these therapies you really need to understand what CAUSES Melasma.
One of the main reasons that conventional therapies tend to fail in treating Melasma is because this particular skin disease is probably more the result of issues that occur INSIDE your body than outside of your body.
The normal approach to treating skin diseases is to always apply creams, gels and lotions to the outside of the skin hoping that it will fix the problem.
But what you need to understand is that many problems on your skin indicate a problem INSIDE of your body!
So simply putting on lotions, gels or creams is often not enough to treat the problem because they don’t tackle or treat the underlying cause.
So let’s talk about the actual causes of Melasma so we can talk about treatment.
Believe it or not Melasma is not caused by any one single thing.
In simple terms this just means that multiple factors align to cause the condition.
It also means that not every single person who has one of the factors will necessarily get Melasma.
Any disease that is considered to be multi-factorial is always difficult to treat because it means that there is no one single treatment.
And in our current world most Doctors are always looking for that one thing to treat or to use.
So if you’ve been experiencing Melasma and you’ve only been doing one therapy or one treatment then that may be the reason that you haven’t had success.
Conditions that are multi-factorial often require multiple therapies that target different factors in order to get results!
Melasma is no different!
When you couple that with the fact that most people focus on treating the skin (instead of the inside of the body) you can see why Melasma is so difficult to treat.
With this concept in mind it’s important that we discuss the “risk factors” for Melasma.
The way to think about this is that the more risk factors you have the more likely you are to experience Melasma.
In addition these risk factors can help target your treatment! (which we will discuss below)
Risk factors for developing Melasma include:
The most common presentation for those who present with Melasma is to start to notice darker skin on the face usually during pregnancy which then persists afterwards.
In fact it is estimated that up to 50-70% of women will experience some hyperpigmentation during pregnancy!
And we know that some serious hormonal changes occur during pregnancy which probably start the process.
Then, in those who have the right (or wrong) genetics, Melasma starts to kick in and the skin becomes darker.
The risk factors listed above tend to trigger an overproduction of certain cells in your skin known as Melanocytes.
These melanocytes are the ones that are responsible for your skin color.
These are the same guys that you TRY to stimulate when you get a tan because they are responsible for producing a tan.
While they may be good if you want a tan, they aren’t necessarily good in this case.
In Melasma the melanocytes often get hyper sensitive and start over producing melanin or pigment in your skin but only in certain places.
These places tend to hit your face, eyes, forward and upper lip area – but can also occur elsewhere.
So just by looking at this situation we know that those suffering from Melasma obviously have some issue with their hormones, in addition to their skin.
And this idea is what helps us determine how to treat the condition.
In order to treat Melasma you need to focus on both the INSIDE of the body and the OUTSIDE of the body.
We will talk about both but let’s start with the outside first.
By the outside I am referring to your SKIN itself.
Most people primarily focus on the skin, and while this is a good starting point, you really should also be focusing on what is happening on the inside and to your hormones.
Most of the treatments regarding the skin tend to target the melanocytes in an attempt to shut them down or at least slow them down.
The idea is that if you can slow down melanin production then you can normalize the color of your skin.
So let’s talk about how you do that:
The first ingredient that you want to know about is known as Arbutin.
One of the benefits of using Arbutin is that it is a NATURAL skin lightener and not one that will potentially damage your skin.
Arbutin can be compared to a prescription known as Hydroquinone (more on that one below) which is a prescription medication.
One of the problems with Hydroquinone is that it is very strong but often times once you stop taking the medication your skin color returns.
This problem can be avoided by using Arbutin because it is not quite as strong.
You can get a naturally occurring Arbutin in some cosmetic products and I generally recommend you use it in combination with other highly active ingredients (including ingredients such as Vitamin C serum).
My recommended product is iS Clinical Super Serum Advance+ which contains Arbutin, L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and copper tripeptide growth factors.
You should use Arbutin in combination with at least one other natural face lightening treatment below and in combination with the supplements listed below.
It may take several months of use before you see complete elimination of your Melasma but you should notice fading within the first month.
Kojic acid is another natural skin lightening agent that can be used topically on the skin to help reduce skin hyperpigmentation.
Kojic acid is actually created in the fermentation process of rice wine.
Luckily it has some very important benefits on the skin!
One of the big problems with Kojic acid is that it isn’t very stable.
In order for Kojic acid to be effective it must be in a protective carrier which blocks light exposure and limits air exposure.
When you look for a Kojic acid product make sure that you find one that comes protected from the elements otherwise it may not work well.
You will notice that cheap versions of Kojic acid may not come adequately prepared which can limit its quality.
I recommend a brand like this one for best results which contains a combination of Kojic acid and azelaic acids (both of which can help reduce hyperpigmentation):
Kojic acid can be safely combined with other ingredients listed in this guide!
Next on the list is something that you should definitely already be using in your skin care regimen!
Vitamin C serum (along with Vitamin A) is probably one of the single best things that you can put on your skin.
In cosmetic school aestheticians and dermatologists are taught that Vitamin C will help “lighten, brighten and tighten” the skin.
The key to using Vitamin C serum is to find a high quality product which protects the vitamin C from light, element exposure and keeps it at the right pH.
Finding a product which does all of these things can be difficult, but once you find a high quality product you will understand why it’s so effective.
When treating Melasma I usually recommend a combination of Arbutin + Vitamin C or Kojic Acid + Vitamin C.
You don’t necessarily need to use all 3 products, but I would at least combine two together for best results.
If you aren’t familiar with Vitamin C serum then I recommend you read this post which goes into detail about how to use it.
You can find my recommended Vitamin C serum below:
Hydroquinone is a powerful skin lightener and is the only prescription skin lightener that we are going to talk about today.
There is no question about it:
Hydroquinone 4% definitely works to lighten the skin, but that’s not really the issue – whether it works or not.
The problem with hydroquinone is that some people tend to get a rebound hyperpigementation after they stop using it.
So while it may work very well while you are using it, much of the benefit you get while using it may fade once you stop.
This is well known in the cosmetic industry and is one of the reasons that Doctors are hesitant to prescribe this medication.
You can sometimes bypass this problem by using hydroquinone “cycles” where you use hydroquinone for 4-8 weeks, take a 4 week break and repeat this process several times.
Often in the “down times” people will use Arbutin or the other skin lighteners listed in this guide.
This process can work and may work well for some, but it usually isn’t necessary as long as you take the other steps listed here.
If you want to get hydroquinone you will have to get a prescription from your Doctor – usually a cosmetic dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.
In addition to using creams and serums you can also use physical therapies such as microdermabrasion to help treat your Melasma!
These therapies help to accelerate the exfoliation of dead skin cells and may stimulate and regulate melanocytes in the process.
These exfoliation therapies may not work for everyone, and may not be necessary for each person but they should be considered for some people with tough to treat Melasma.
Often the addition of microdermabrasion to Vitamin C serum and Arbutin can help improve absorption and increase the effectiveness of these therapies.
You don’t have to start with this therapy though.
Instead you can start with the serums and other therapies listed below and then use microdermabrasion if you aren’t seeing the results you want.
Now that we’ve talked about treating Melasma from the outside we can start to talk about treating it from the inside.
And by the inside I mean using certain supplements to help control and regulate the hormones involved in stimulating your melanocytes.
We know that one of the main triggers of Melasma is pregnancy.
And we all know that during pregnancy hormone levels tend to be at extremely high levels.
Sometimes these hormone imbalances can stick around after delivery and that may be the reason that Melasma tends to stick around in certain people.
Even if you fall into this category there are certain supplements that you can use to help balance your hormones.
One of the most effective and powerful supplements you can use is known as DIM or Diindolemethane.
This ingredient is often found in certain vegetables so it may be possible to get this benefit by consuming lots of broccoli or cabbage as well!
By reducing estrogen in your body it will reduce the amount of stimulation on your melanocytes and therefore help reduce pigmentation.
This therapy often works very well when used in combination the serums listed above.
For the most benefit make sure you use 200 to 400mg per day of a high quality DIM complex which includes at least 25% diindolylmethane.
I recommend a product such as this:
Be prepared to use DIM for at least 3-6 months!
The difference between DIM and I3C is that I3C is a more complete compound and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
I generally recommend that people with estrogen issues use both I3C and DIM simultaneously for best results.
There are more clinical studies on I3C than there are DIM, but both tend to be effective.
Usually one is more effective than the other, depending on the person, but you can prevent using one that doesn’t work by using them both together.
I also have found that using them together tends to provide even better results and resolution of Melasma.
Like DIM you will want to use at least 400mg of I3C each day for 3-6 months, I recommend a product such as this which is very high quality:
Another potential hormone balancing supplement is Zinc bound to picolinic acid.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is VERY important for your skin, and it’s also important for testosterone metabolism and androgen metabolism.
Many women who suffer from elevated estrogen also have issues with testosterone or symptoms on the PCOS spectrum.
Using Zinc can really help to metabolize androgens and help your body eliminate any extra testosterone.
Another benefit to using Zinc is that it may potentially help improve your thyroid function.
Zinc is involved in T4 to T3 conversion and immune function – which makes it a perfect supplement for those suffering from Hashimoto’s or thyroid disease in general.
Using 30 to 60 mg of Zinc Picolinate may help some women who suffer from melasma.
I recommend a product like this one:
Zinc probably doesn’t need to be used as first line therapy, but it can be added to your regimen if you know that you have testosterone issues or thyroid issues.
In addition to using these combination therapies you will also want to use a couple of extra tips which will help you.
The first is that you need to be patient!
Remember that treating Melasma WILL take time.
Unfortunately it may be true that Melasma may only take a few weeks to start to cause problems, but it usually takes several months to treat.
Most of the time this takes around 3 to 6 months for most people, assuming you stick to the regimens listed above on a daily basis.
Some women with persistent Melasma may need to treat for up to 12 months!
The good news is that you should notice some improvement and lightening of your Melasma over time.
It typically doesn’t just fade completely within a matter of a few days to weeks, instead the fading process is a gradual and slow fading that occurs over several months.
Just stick with it and trust the process and you will experience results!
The next important tip is to avoid tanning beds and excess ultraviolet light – even from the sun!
Remember that melanocytes are normally supposed to increase melanin and make your skin darker, the problem with Melasma is that this process still occurs and it may make problems WORSE.
The last thing you want is to stimulate the melanin in the area that you have Melasma and make that skin darker.
Unfortunately this means that you should avoid allowing sunlight to hit the areas on your body that you have Melasma.
Sunscreen will definitely help but it will NOT block all of the ultraviolet rays from the sun.
So if you are serious about treating your Melasma make sure that you avoid the sun completely for those areas that you have hyperpigmentation.
Using large brim hats and suncreen will definitely help.
A complete melasma treatment may look like this:
Vitamin C serum + Arbutin Combination to treat your skin and used in combination with DIM + Indole 3 Carbinol to treat your hormones.
Other variations may include Kojic Acid + Vitamin C combined with DIM + I3C + Zinc.
Using these therapies for 3-6 months should result in noticeable improvement in your skin!
Now I want to hear from you:
Are you currently struggling with Melasma?
Have you been able to find anything that works?
If not, what have you tried?
Leave your comments below!
Are you interested in getting a spray tan but worried if it is safe or effective?
Maybe you’re just wondering which is better – a spray tan, a natural tan or a tan from a tanning bed.
If so continue reading!
We are going to discuss the differences between a spray tan and other tanning methods while also discussing the potential benefits and downsides of a spray tan.
So what is a spray tan and how does it compare to other tanning methods?
A spray tan is really just the act of spraying a chemical mixture on your skin that temporarily “stains” the skin to a different shade or color.
The coloring from the chemical stays on the outer layers of the skin and is removed as the skin sheds.
The normal shedding cycle for the epidermis is around 40-60 days (depending on if you use tretinoin or not) so therefore spray tans can only last at the most that amount of time.
Realistically they don’t last quite that long because other factors increase skin shedding such as bathing, exfoliating, cleansers and so on .
So you can imagine that most spray tans probably last slightly less than that amount of time – in fact, the average length that a spray tan lasts is about 5-10 days
You can compare this method of tanning to other methods of tanning such as a “natural” tan from a tanning bed.
In a tanning bed your body is being exposed to ultraviolet light from the lightbulbs in the bed.
In response to this light your body produces more melanin which then confers that characteristic browning of the skin that everyone wants!
By the way, this is the same reaction that occurs when you exposure your skin to natural sun outside of a tanning bed!
The main difference is that we can’t exactly create the same ultraviolet light that the sun produces which is why prolonged exposure to certain types of tanning bed may cause long term skin damage.
But now that you have an idea of how a spray tan works and why it’s different from other tanning methods we can talk about the specific reasons you may want to get a spray tan.
Spray tanning has some potential benefits that are unique to this method of obtaining a tan.
When determining if you should get a spray tan make sure to evaluate both the positives and the negatives of this particular method.
Like anything which method you use largely depends on your preferences are your situation!
I personally like to use spray tans for certain special events, but I also prefer to get a natural tan (from natural sunlight) in between to keep up my tan.
This is just my preference but each person may be different!
Let’s jump in to the benefits of getting a spray tan:
The first reason is that getting a spray tan is incredibly fast and efficient.
You can schedule your time, walk in, and walk out with a tan that is optimized for your skin in less than 30 minutes.
You can compare this to natural tans from natural light which may take weeks to months to create!
Even a tanning bed with artificial lights will take weeks to obtain the right glow.
This makes getting a spray tan optimal for people who either don’t want to spend the time to optimize their color or because they have a special event.
Spray tans are great if you have a wedding, want to go on vacation or have some other special event in your life.
You can get a perfect tan in 30 minutes that lasts for several weeks just in time for whatever event you have going on.
Another huge benefit is that spray tans may actually save your skin.
You have to remember that the sun (and this includes both artificial light and light from the sun) cause slightly damage to the skin which then stimulates the melanin response.
This process actually DAMAGES the skin!
What you may not realize is that this process results in something called photo-damage.
This process is one of the reasons that you see dermatologists and medical aestheticians basically avoiding the sun at all times.
They do this to try and save their skin.
Photo-damage results in a reduction in collagen and elastin both of which are critical to maintaining the integrity and youth of your skin.
Getting a spray tan can save your skin because you avoid the potential damage of the sun.
This can be a double-edged sword, however, because some sunlight is important for vitamin D production (which we will discuss below).
Ever wonder why bodybuilders (both women and men) always get spray tans before competitions?
It’s because it highlights lean muscle, tends to hide fat tissue and actually makes you look slimmer!
You probably intuitively know this, but maybe you didn’t realize it is a potential advantage to getting a spray tan.
If you plan on going to the beach and need a “base tan” or have some sort of special event like a wedding then it may be in your best interest to look and feel great.
Yes it is a fake tan, but you can boost your self confidence and help yourself look great and feel great in your own skin.
This benefit isn’t unique to just spray tans, by the way, but the difference is that you can get this benefit with a spray tan within 30 minutes while it may take weeks to months to get it from other tanning methods.
This benefit shouldn’t be overstated:
A spray tan can give you a near instant result in a short period of time.
Compare the time it takes to get a tan with various different options:
A spray tan = perfect tan in 30 minutes
A tanning bed = a good/perfect tan in 4-8 weeks
Natural light = a good/perfect tan in 8-12 weeks
The time it takes to get the tan doesn’t mean it’s the best option, but it should certainly be considered if you are in a pinch for time!
Imagine leaving on a vacation in 2 weeks, there’s just no way that you can get a tan in that amount of time with a tanning bed or with natural sunlight.
This benefit is not unique to spray tans (you can get it with a tanning bed as well) but it is still beneficial.
You can pretty much get a perfect tan any time of the year if you choose to get a spray tan.
During certain months the sun is at an angle which effectively causes ultraviolet lights to bounce off of your skin and reduces the effectiveness of natural light.
During other months out of the year the sun may be overcast or simply not come out (such as winter).
This makes getting a tan by natural light really only an option during summer months (depending on where you live).
If you live in somewhere like Hawaii this isn’t a problem, but if you live anywhere else then it is something to consider!
You can still take advantage of this with a tanning bed as well, but perhaps at the cost of your skin in the process.
Another advantage to getting a spray tan is that you have more control over the color and shade of your tan.
Consider how you naturally get a tan using a tanning bed or natural sunlight:
This progression of shading on your skin takes time and can be difficult to control.
If you miss a week then it’s like taking 2 steps forward but one step backwards.
This means that if you want to control the shade using other tanning methods you really need to be consistent and stay on top of your schedule.
You don’t have to worry about any of this if you are getting a spray tan because you can control the shade and color of the tanning solution BEFORE you even start.
This means that you can basically “pick” your shade and you end up with the exact color and shade that you want within 30 minutes.
You can also get a spray tan regardless of the type of your skin.
The way you want to think about your skin type is through the lens of the Fitzpatrick skin scale which is what dermatologists use when considering skin.
The Fitzpatrick skin scale is a way to determine how your body will respond to sunlight, how effectively you will tan and your risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
You can see an example of all 6 skin types below:
Notice skin types I and II on the Fitzpatrick scale.
If you have these skin types there is VERY little chance that you will ever be able to tan with natural light or through a tanning bed.
In fact, using these methods may even increase your risk of skin cancer because your body may not be able to respond and protect itself with sufficient melanin production.
Those who have Fitzpatrick skin types I and II make great candidates for spray tanning because they really don’t have any other options.
Other skin types can still get tans but their tans may not be as uniform and may not get exactly to their desired shade with sunlight or tanning beds.
Your Fitzpatrick scale is therefore very important when you consider getting a spray tan or using other tanning options.
While there are definitely some serious benefits to getting a spray tan, it’s not necessarily for everyone!
Before you get a spray tan make sure you understand the procedure including the downsides and potential negative aspects.
The first downside is that by avoiding sunlight and ultraviolet light you risk getting vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D is a seriously important vitamin that helps balance your mood, control your immune system and much more.
Low vitamin D has been linked to developing autoimmune diseases and other diseases states so it’s an important factor to consider.
I’ve seen the argument that Vitamin D shouldn’t even be considered in getting a spray tan because most people get sufficient Vitamin D from foods sources.
This is technically true but it actually doesn’t help.
The Vitamin D that you get from foods is in the form of Vitamin D2 and in order for Vitamin D2 to become active and useful in the body you must activate it to Vitamin D3 through sunlight.
So even if you do consume Vitamin D2 in food then you still NEED the ultraviolet light from the sun.
But it’s also worth considering that you can take Vitamin D3 in supplement form and by mouth, but it’s probably not as good as getting your Vitamin D directly from the sun.
The bottom line is that if you avoid the sunlight in favor of getting repeated spray tans then you may increase your risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency.
Another potential issue is the real risk of staining your clothes while getting a spray tan.
This isn’t a deal breaker though, especially since you can actively avoid this issue by being cautious – but it is still worth considering.
The spray tan chemicals are designed to STAIN your skin, so they will stain clothing or other things they come into contact with.
The reason that the chemicals are shed from your skin is simply because your skin sheds over time, but this obviously doesn’t happen with your clothes.
So be careful when you get a spray tan to avoid getting it on your clothes or personal items!
Another downside is that while spray tans work absolutely great, they don’t last very long.
This means that you’ll need to spend both time and time with some regularity if you want to keep up your results.
Natural spray tans and tans from tanning beds tend to last longer than the tan you get from a spray tan.
This isn’t a huge deal if you only occasionally get a spray tan, but it can become an issue if you try to keep up your tan exclusively through this method.
You can count on your spray tan looking really good for about 5 to 10 days, but after that point it will start to fade rapidly from your skin.
Natural sun tans and tans from tanning beds tend to last weeks to months (though they do fade over time).
Another factor to consider is that you will be up close and personal with someone in order to get your spray tan.
This means that you will be in a 1 on 1 setting and exposed in order to get your tan!
Compare this to a tanning bed in which you are alone in the bed by yourself while you get your tan.
This means that getting a spray tan is not necessarily a “relaxing” experience.
It probably isn’t an issue if you are outgoing or don’t mind that sort of thing, but if you have a shy or reserved personality make sure to consider it!
Because you are putting chemicals on your skin it’s natural to ask if the procedure is safe.
The answer is that the vast majority of the time most people won’t experience any bad side effects from getting a spray tan.
Some people may react to ingredients or chemicals in the spray tan mixture, but these people are those who tend to react to EVERYTHING and are very sensitive to medications, supplements and so on.
While this is a rare reaction it’s often worth considering.
Another way to fight this reaction is to simply use organic based ingredients which are less likely to cause any real problems but still provide your body with a nice tan.
Natural ingredients such as turmeric can stain your skin various colors and may actually be HEALTHY for your skin.
I personally recommend that if you do choose to get a spray tan that you stick to organic materials because not only is it healthier but you will reduce your risk of a negative reaction to the ingredients.
Your skin naturally serves as a barrier to prevent unwanted things from entering your bloodstream but the skin can’t keep everything out.
If you put any chemical or ingredient on your skin just realize that SOME of that product will be absorbed into your bloodstream (though probably not a lot).
This method of absorption is known as transdermal absorption and it should be considered before you put anything on your skin.
If you do decide to get a spray tan you can take several steps to help improve the quality and longevity of your results.
There are some things that your artist may not tell you but that may help your tan last longer.
These tips are based on the science behind how the tan is applied to your skin and I’ll go into detail on each one below:
By following these tips you can increase the length of time that your results last.
In addition to these tips you will also want to consider some more general tips before you get your spray tan:
If you follow these tips you will be ready to get your spray tan!
If after reading all of this you decide to get a spray tan you are still in good company!
In my experience those who do the best with spray tans are those who get them for special events and for situational circumstances.
When it comes to keeping a nice glow all year round you are probably best off by using natural sunlight (if it’s available to you) and minimizing your time in the sun to prevent long term photo-damage.
Now I want to hear from you:
Are you thinking about getting a spray tan?
Are you concerned about the ingredients or how it works?
Leave your comments below!
Are your eyelashes falling out?
Believe it or not a small amount of lash loss can lead to big changes in your appearance.
If you are losing your lashes then read this guide which will discuss the major causes of eyelash hair loss and discuss potential treatment options:
The official name for eyelash hair loss is known as milphosis (if it occurs by itself).
Another term often used to describe eyelash hair loss is Madarosis which can be used to identify both eyelash and eyebrow hair loss.
These terms are not necessarily important because they don’t tell you why you have hair loss – but they are the official terms.
There are many reasons why your lashes may be falling out and most of them can be identified relatively easily.
What you need to understand is that eyelash hair loss is usually the RESULT of some other condition that your body is currently dealing with.
This problem is almost always on the inside (but not always).
In addition to eyelash hair loss you can also present with eyelash breakage or simply just slow growing lashes.
These are all conditions that fit under the same umbrella – disordered eyelash growth!
Like anything there are degrees to which this can occur.
Some people may experience a complete loss of their eyelashes while others may experience only 50% of lash loss.
The goal with addressing your lashes is to find the underlying cause and then treat or prevent that!
Many of the same issues that cause eyebrow hair loss ALSO cause eyelash hair loss.
This means if you are suffering from one you may be suffering from the other.
I’ve previously discussed several causes of eyebrow hair loss and many of the same issues that cause eyebrow hair loss ALSO cause eyelash hair loss.
Generally these conditions tend to go together (but not always).
If you are also suffering from eyebrow hair loss then I would recommend you read this article as well.
Perhaps one of the most important causes of eyelash hair loss is a condition known as alopecia.
There are different categories of alopecia but the two we will focus on today are alopecia areata and alopecia adnata.
You are probably familiar with alopecia areata because it is often the cause of isolated patches of hair loss on the head.
What you may not realize is that alopecia can also cause hair loss of both your eyelashes and eyebrows.
Alopecia is the result of an autoimmune condition which means that your body is attacking itself and that attack results in hair loss.
Doctors and scientists aren’t really sure what causes alopecia at this point, but it can sometimes be treated with certain medications.
Another form of alopecia is known as alopecia adnata.
This is a condition that is used to describe eyelash hair loss but it most often refers to a condition in which your eyelashes are underdeveloped or simply do not grow to their maximum capacity.
Those with this condition may have SOME eyelashes but they are often smaller or shorter than usual.
If you have eyelash hair loss you will most likely need to see a Doctor for treatment.
Another VERY common reason for eyelash hair loss is hormone imbalance.
Hormone imbalance can actually refer to several conditions, all of which may impact your lashes.
Your thyroid helps to regulate the function of your skin, eyelashes, nails, metabolism and so on.
Pretty much any thyroid condition can result in damaged or broken hair loss – this includes on your head and on your brows/lashes.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition which results in excessive thyroid hormone production while hypothyroidism is a condition which results in insufficient thyroid hormone production.
BOTH conditions may cause lash breakage.
And these conditions are very common.
Up to 10-20% of people in the United States may suffer from some sort of thyroid disease, so if you have lash problems there’s a good chance your thyroid may be related.
If you suffer from thyroid problems you will need to treat that issue to grow back your lashes/brows.
Many of the conditions that cause eyelash hair loss have to do with what is happening INSIDE your body and not necessarily on the outside.
This isn’t true for all conditions, though.
Some direct skin conditions can also cause eyelash hair loss.
What do I mean by direct skin conditions?
I mean anything that causes problems to the skin UNDERNEATH your eyelashes.
The good news about these conditions is that they are often easier to spot.
It’s easier to identify a problem on your skin than it is a hormone problem in your blood.
The treatment for these types of problems is usually ointments and creams which can help treat the skin problem and reduce inflammation.
Trichotillomania is an impulse disease that is not quite as common as some of the other diseases mentioned here.
In trichotillomania patients may inadvertently pull out or break their own hairs.
These hairs may be those on their head, on their eyebrows and even their own eyelashes.
This behavior is usually driven by stress or anxiety and can be treated by managing those conditions.
While most people with trichotillomania may know that they have a problem it can be VERY difficult to stop the behavior – especially if the trigger cannot be identified.
Trauma is a term used to describe a condition which causes damage.
When you think about trauma the first thing that may come to mind is something like a cut or a bruise.
And this type of trauma can definitely cause issues with eyelash hair growth.
Think about a cut or laceration to your eye area that may cause scar tissue. Once there is scar tissue covering the normal hair follicles it is unlikely that any hair will grow in that area.
But trauma also includes other conditions such as radiation therapy, surgery, intense hot/cold therapies and even eyelid tattooing.
Any condition which damages the overlying skin may cause hair loss.
But just because you have trauma doesn’t mean that you will lose your hair.
Many people do just fine with some minor trauma while others may experience a significant amount of hair loss from the event.
Inflammation and infection can also cause lash loss.
Skin infections such as topical fungal infections or viral infections such as shingles or herpes can damage hair follicles and lead to hair loss.
These type of conditions usually don’t go unnoticed, though!
So it’s good to know if your eyelash loss is due to infection because it is usually quite treatable with certain medications.
Lastly certain drugs and prescription medications can lead to eyelash hair loss.
This a medication used to treat depression and anxiety and it is very commonly prescribed!
While these types of reactions are not very common they are definitely worth considering.
Especially if you have a case of eyelash hair loss in which every other cause has been ruled out.
If you fit into this category then you may want to start looking at your prescription drug list to determine if they may be causing some issues.
Usually you can determine if a medication is causing your lash loss because the hair loss tends to start around the time that you started your medication – so there is a link.
In some cases, however, the hair loss can be delayed by months.
So what are you supposed to do if you are losing your lashes?
The best approach to treatment is to try and identify what is causing your lashes to fall out and then treat that problem.
It doesn’t matter what you do or what you put on your lashes to help them grow if you are suffering from thyroid disease and you completely neglect that problem.
But even if you do find the problem and then treat that issue it can still take MONTHS for your lashes to grow back.
This is where you might find the opportunity to use certain growth serums that can actually help your lashes grow back.
I’ve included one of my favorites (I use it to help my lashes grow and I don’t have any lash growth issues) below:
Lash growth serum can potentially help you grow back your lashes at a faster rate than usual and can even be used to help grow your lashes even if you don’t have any problems.
Will it work for everyone?
No, not necessarily.
But it may be worth a try especially if you are self conscious about your lashes.
In addition to using growth serum I also have some other suggestions which can really help your lashes grow back quickly:
While your lashes are growing back it may be tempting to try and tweeze them, especially if some are not quite as long as others.
Do your best to avoid doing this!
You may stunt the growth phase of your lashes and trick your body into thinking there is more trauma to the hair follicles.
Be patient and let them grow out.
While your lashes are growing back it’s best to avoid putting any excessive or unnecessary chemicals, dyes or fillers on your lashes.
These type of low quality ingredients can limit eyelash growth and even cause damage to your skin.
The best thing you can do is buy high quality make-up or use even LESS make-up during this time period.
I like using organic skin care products which tend not to cause any issues on the skin.
Another important way you can boost your results is by taking a high quality hair, skin and nails supplement.
These supplements provide your body with the necessary building blocks to help hair growth.
Ingredients like Zinc, biotin and silica can help the growth phase of your lashes.
You will also want to avoid putting on fake lashes while your lashes are growing out.
Fake lashes may cause trauma to your skin and slow down the growth process, and they also may potentially cause trauma!
Even though it’s tough, try to stick it out and be patient while your lashes grow back.
The bottom line?
There are many medical conditions which may result in damage or eyelash hair loss.
The key is figuring out what the main issue is and focusing your efforts and treatment on that problem.
Along the way, and as your lashes start to grow back, you might be able to boost the growth phase by using certain serums and by taking certain supplements.
Now I want to hear from you:
Are you suffering from lash loss?
If so, what do you think is causing the problem?
Have you been able to grow back your lashes?
Leave your comments below!
Are your eyebrows falling out without any real reason?
If so then you need to read this post which outlines the top 10 most common reasons that may cause your eyebrows to fall out.
We will also discuss potential treatment options that you can start with right away:
It’s no surprise that people get upset when their eyebrows fall out.
After all your eyebrows help create the normal shape and figure of your entire face by framing your eyes!
So what actually causes your eyebrows to fall out?
It turns out that this isn’t a straightforward question because many different medical conditions can all contribute.
The reasons range from infections to nutrient deficiencies to lifestyle issues.
There is one recurring theme though:
Your eyebrows are incredibly sensitive to changes in your body and the fact that they are falling out can be an early warning sign that something is wrong with some organ system in your body.
Your body will sometimes kick out your eyebrows in an attempt to save more vital structures and while this isn’t good for your cosmetic appearance it may be good for your body overall.
So with that in mind let’s talk about diseases and conditions that may cause your eyebrows to fall out.
Remember that there are MANY causes and diseases which may cause your eyebrows to fall out.
The key to growing back your eyebrows is to find the main issue that you are dealing with and then REVERSE that problem.
Some of these solutions are easy fixes while others may take time.
Let’s dive in:
Probably one of the most common causes of eyebrow shedding is known as Telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium refers to a condition in which your hair falls out at a faster than normal rate.
Basically it is falling out faster than your body can grow it.
This stress can be emotional or physical.
Conditions that may spark this type of eyebrow loss include divorce, chronic stress at work, physical trauma like a car accident and so on.
Basically any cause of extreme stress may result in hair loss (eyelash, hair on your head and eyebrow).
Kick your stress to the curb.
Eliminating stress in your life may not be easy but it is the only treatment for this type of hair loss.
You can jump start hair growth by taking certain supplements and using certain creams but you won’t fully realize hair regrowth until you eliminate the stress.
Believe it or not extreme dieting that leads to malnutrition can cause eyebrow hair loss.
I’m talking about any diet that results caloric restriction of less than 1,000 calories per day for an extended period of time.
Diets like the HCG diet are notorious for causing eyebrow hair loss and this has to do with the metabolic changes that occur in your body from prolonged dieting.
Repeated yo-yo dieting can also cause eyebrow hair loss.
The problem with hair loss due to this cause is that simply stopping the diet may not be enough to fix the hair growth.
The reason for this is that the hair loss is usually due to metabolic and hormonal changes that may last for months even after you stop your diet.
The key to preventing this hair loss is to avoid extreme or crash diets to begin with!
This is usually only an issue in extreme or crash diets that exclude certain food groups.
Most diets (at least in the United States) contain copious amounts of lean proteins, but some diets may not be rich in certain amino acids such as Leucine.
You can get these proteins through supplementing with Collagen which often contain these specific amino acids.
The good news about this cause of hair loss is that you can take supplements to help fight it.
Do you feel like you are over supplementing?
If so make sure you check your supplements for excessive doses of Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is one of a few fat soluble vitamins in which you can actually be getting too much of it.
Other hormones (B vitamins, Vitamin C, and so on) are considered water soluble which means that any excess simply go out in your urine.
You know this is the case because your urine will often turn bright yellow when you take a lot of vitamins!
This isn’t true of Vitamin A.
Vitamin A can be stored in your fat cells and slowly released over time long after you stop your supplements.
And excessive doses of Vitamin A has been shown to cause hair loss.
The treatment is to stop taking Vitamin A and then wait for your body to slowly eliminate the Vitamin A over time.
Thyroid issues are an incredibly common cause of both eyebrow and general hair loss!
It is estimated that up to 10% of the population has some sort of thyroid disease and even small changes to thyroid hormone can cause big symptoms in your body.
Usually women with eyebrow disease lose the “tail” of their eyebrow but retain the majority of the bulb area.
The bad news about thyroid disease is that eyebrow hair loss is an EARLY sign of thyroid disease.
It is often also accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and other skin issues.
The key to dealing with this type of eyebrow hair loss is to get diagnosed and get on thyroid hormone replacement treatment.
You can also take certain supplements which help promote thyroid function in your body like this one.
The medications that result in hair loss are not obscure medications either, they are the ones that are commonly prescribed for conditions such as elevated blood pressure and even for common skin conditions.
Medications that may cause eyebrow hair loss include:
Obviously you may not be able to get off of your medications but this list can be helpful especially if you are suffering from an unknown cause of eyebrow hair loss.
Sometimes it may be as easy as simply changing up your medication as well.
Make sure you discuss any changes or options with your Doctor!
Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder in which the person with the disease breaks or pulls out the eyebrow hairs.
Chances are if you have this condition then you already know it!
But it’s still included here for completeness.
In my experience some patients with this condition do get microblading while they try to control the impulse disorder, but it can be very difficult.
Often times if you can somehow stop pulling or breaking your eyebrows then they will grow back fairly rapidly, but stopping this behavior can be difficult.
Another less common cause of eyebrow hair loss is due to infections of the skin.
The most common of these infections includes topical fungal infections of the skin.
Other more rare types of infections include viral (such as herpes) and bacterial (such as leprosy).
Most of the time people do know they have these conditions and they are often easily diagnosed by visiting the Doctor.
The treatment is to use anti-fungals, anti-bacterials and anti-viral medications.
Once the infection is cleared eyebrow hair growth should start again.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition in which your body attacks your own hair follicles which results in hair loss.
This particular autoimmune disease usually affects more than just the eyebrows with patches of the hair on your head being involved as well.
If you just have localized eyebrow hair loss, without hair loss on your head, then you probably don’t have Alopecia Areata.
The problem with this condition is that it can be very difficult to treat with the mainstay of treatment being topical anti-inflammatory medications that sometimes work.
The last topic is pretty much any condition which results in direct inflammation of the skin itself!
If your skin is inflamed then that inflammation may damage your hair follicles and result in hair loss.
The most common cause on the face is Acne Rosacea and Psoriasis.
The treatment for these conditions include topical medications to reduce inflammation.
Some patients also find therapeutic relief by using UV light therapy!
Either way you will need to treat the underlying condition in order to grow your eyebrows back.
So what if you aren’t sure what is causing your brows to fall out, what then?
There are some potential therapies and treatments that you can consider if you fall into this condition.
Also, you may be able to help the regrowth process by taking certain supplements or using certain serums.
The key here is to be consistent and always be searching for the underlying cause.
With that in mind I’ve put together some therapies that can help accelerate brow regrowth:
#1. Eyebrow Regrowth Serum
Eyebrow regrowth serums usually contain prostaglandins which help promote hair growth directly.
Some of these serums are actually designed for eyelash growth but they have been found to work on the eyebrows as well!
Don’t be surprised if you see that a product is for eyelashes only, make sure to check the reviews and you will see that many people apply them to their eyebrows as well and notice an increase in hair growth.
The key here is to find high quality serums that contain the right ingredients at the right concentration.
Avoid cheap products which don’t the right ingredients.
You can find my recommended products below:
#2. Collagen Supplements
Another way to promote hair regrowth is to use targeted amino acids that are contained in collagen supplements.
Certain amino acids such as Lysine are required for optimal hair growth and our current diets are such that favor excessive amounts of certain amino acids at the expense of others.
There are certain amino acids to be found in the dark meats, ligaments, tendons and organ meats of food and for the most part many of these are excluded in favor of leaner meats.
This may lead to a disparity in amino acid consumption.
You can fight this by taking collagen supplements such as this one.
Lastly you can also consider covering up the eyebrow hair that is lost with procedures such as Microblading or other semi-permanent cosmetic procedures.
Many different conditions can all lead to eyebrow hair loss.
The key to growing back your brows has to do with finding this underlying cause and then treating that problem.
Having said that you can accelerate your results by using certain serum and certain supplements.
Now I want to hear from you:
Are you suffering from eyebrow hair loss?
What do you think is the cause of your hair loss?
What therapies have you tried?
Leave your comments below!