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All About Acne – Part IV: Cosmetics for Acne-prone Skin

  • Posted on July 1, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Brand CollageAfter my last post I’m sure there was a lot of exasperation, like “what the heck IS safe to use?”  I wanted to give you a list of just some of the foundations I’ve found that do not have the ingredients that may cause irritation and breakouts.  Obviously something may not have any of the Big Nasty ingredients and still irritate your skin, or you might not like the particular formula, but I didn’t want to leave you with only the bad.

 

High End Foundation

 

BareMineralsbareMinerals Original Foundation SPF 15

My favorite mineral foundation by far is the Bare Minerals Original Foundation with SPF 15.  This is the foundation that I used through my twenties, and still have in my rotation today.  It has only 5 ingredients.  That’s right – no huge paragraph of hard-to-read chemicals, just 5 simple ingredients – 2 of which are for sunscreen!  The fewer ingredients you have, the less of a chance for irritation.  It also offers 20 shade variations, and those shades are very forgiving.  That means that you don’t have to get a near-exact match in the way you’d expect with a liquid foundation.  They’re very blendable.

Now, I know the price for this foundation can be a deterrent for some.  There may be other mineral foundations out there that are cheaper.  I would caution you to make sure that the brand has no fillers or additional ingredients for shimmer or shine.  Check those ingredients!

 

Additional Products – I thought it would be helpful to mention that not only does bareMinerals make foundation, they also carry a line of concealers, blushes, bronzers, highlights and basically every type of cosmetic you may want.  Their loose mineral powders have the least amount of ingredients and are the ones that I would recommend.  You can’t go wrong checking out this line.

 

 Tarte Tinted Moisturizer

Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer

This is my other go-to face product.  It’s not a true foundation; the coverage is too light for that.  But it doesn’t claim to be.  I use this for light coverage when I just want to even out my skin tone and I want something more moisturizing.  This is definitely not a matte tinted moisturizer.  It does have a more satin finish to it.  Sometimes I will layer this with a dusting of the bareMinerals over top.  It goes on easily, doesn’t slide all over my face in a grease fest 20 minutes after applying it, and is great in the summer when I don’t want to have anything heavy on my skin.

 

Additional Products – Tarte, like bareMinerals, has a whole line of cosmetics you can check out.  Their blushes are beautiful and really do last all day like their name claims.  They have a silicone-free primer called the Clean Slate Flawless 12-Hour Brightening Primer which is a great alternative for oily skin.  Just stay away from the Aqualillies palette!

 

Drugstore Foundation

Let me tell you, within the category of drugstore brand cosmetics, the selection of “safe” foundations for acneic skin is very limited.  VERY.  LIMITED.  It was surprising to me how many foundations have names that would suggest that they are perfect for acne-prone skin, only to read the ingredients and see several horribly irritating and breakout-causing heavy hitters listed.  That’s why you have to ignore the names, the claims, and go straight for the ingredients.  If you are shopping online and the ingredients are not listed anywhere – skip it.  Move on.  Even if it’s called “Amazing Acne Clearing Best Thing For You Foundation.”  Resist the urge!

 

Neutrogena Skin Clearing


Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil Free Makeup

This foundation has salicylic acid in it, which is an ingredient that actually helps treat acne.  A word of caution about this one though – it also has Vitamins A, C, and E, which for some people can be irritating (especially the Vitamin A).  I have not tried this foundation personally, so I can’t talk to the formula or the wearability.  I’m basing this solely on the ingredients.

 

Neutrogena Healthy Skin
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup

Neutrogena gave me two options for the drugstore.  I promise, I looked at other brands and either was not able to get a list of their ingredients or they had some of the Big Nasties in them.  This foundation option has a whopping 55 SPF, which is awesome!  It’s rare that you will see an SPF that high in a foundation.  The down side is that there appear to only be eight color options, catering to the light and medium skin tones.  I haven’t used this foundation to be able to give you an idea of the coverage.  Like the Skin Clearing foundation, I am listing it here based on it’s ingredients.  I’d love to hear if you’ve tried this foundation, or any of the ones I have listed.

 

 

Bottom Line

Read the ingredients on any product that is going to be against your skin.  Don’t rely on the name of the product as a guide for what you should be purchasing.  Especially when you are looking at drugstore brands… it is a mine field out there.

It’s important to note that you may have a foundation that you love that might have a questionable ingredient in it.  The best way to test how your skin reacts to a product is to only add one new product at a time into your routine.  Or conversely only take one product away at a time from your existing routine and see if it changes things.  However, if you looked at your skincare and makeup and saw that the majority of the items had Big Nasties in them – STOP USING THEM NOW.  But if you are in love with a particular product, and don’t want to believe it may be hurting your skin, remove it and see if it helps at all.  If you’re following the skincare routine I outlined in my previous post here, your skin should be reacting positively to the changes.  If the foundation was breaking you out, you will see a change.

Sunscreen: What You Need To Know About the #1 Anti-Aging Product

  • Posted on May 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm

“Trust me – sunscreen is so, so, so important.”  ~Lea Michele

Sunscreen Collage

Why is it that as soon as I decided to write about sunscreen I visualized a collective rolling of the eyes by anyone who may read this post?  I think so many people feel that sunscreen is something that they need to worry about when they’re older, when skin cancer shows up on their radar.  People may have a huge awareness of anti-aging products.  They may line their counters with the latest and greatest serums, night creams and peels, or even have regularly scheduled Botox sessions – all in an effort to try to turn back the clock of aging on their skin.  Yet they still lather on the tanning oil and bake their way to a summer tan with no idea what they’re doing to their skin.

I am known in my circle of family and friends as the Queen of Sunscreen.  I line everyone up and slather them with sunscreen – men, women, and children.  There is no option to politely decline.  If you are in my presence you will get covered.  I don’t want the people I love and care for the most to increase their risk for cancer, and I want them to have the best shot at aging gracefully.

There is so much misinformation out there about sunscreen and tanning, I had to write about this.

 

Nobody Wants Leather Skin!

Nobody Wants Leather Skin!

Sunscreen is the #1 Anti-Aging Product Out There

Forget Retinol.  Forget Peptides.  Forget Vitamin A or C.  The #1 Skin Ager is the sun!  There is nothing that you will do, nothing that you will encounter in your lifetime, that will age you as much as the sun.  All those anti-aging products you may own are just trying to reverse all of the damage you’ve done to your skin through sun exposure.  Stop it at the source!

When you’re looking at a bottle of sunscreen and you see “UVA  and UVB protection” on the label, consider the A in UVA to equate to Aging and the B in UVB to stand for Burning.  Sunscreen not only stops your skin from burning, it also acts as the best anti-aging product you can have in your arsenal.  If you want to go back to your high school reunions with skin so fresh you look like you never left – use sunscreen!  Daily.

What you do to your skin in your teens and twenties will absolutely come back to haunt you in your thirties and beyond.  We’ve all seen the leather-skinned people at the beach.  They started out tanning in their teens, either out in the sun or in the tanning beds, and it’s caught up with them.  Not a cute look!

 

The Infamous Tanning Mom

The Infamous Tanning Mom

Indoor Tanning – Stop the Madness

I know that it sucks when you’re pastey white and you have to bare your albino legs for the first time in the summer.  Trust me, as soon as summer is over I basically live in pants until the spring rolls around again.  My legs can be blinding.  I hate it.  I totally get it.  But I don’t understand actually paying someone to let you lay in a lit up tube that more than doubles your chances of getting skin cancer.  It’s like saying, “Cancer – Shmancer.  Bring it on God!”  Don’t do it!  Wearing sunscreen doesn’t mean you won’t tan.  It means you’ll tan protected.  And there are many sunless tanning products out there that give your body the same dark tan without the added boost to your risk of cancer.

 

 

Sunless Tanner Suggestions

Bare Minerals Faux Tan Body Sunless Body Tanner

Tarte Maracuja Self-Tanner & Application Mitt

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation with SPF 15

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation with SPF 15

 

Using A Foundation with SPF is NOT Enough

Makeup that has SPF will only protect your skin if you apply a LOT of it, and reapply every 90 minutes.  Not a good look.  Also, most makeups containing SPF skimp on the UVA-blocking ingredients, which, again, are the rays that cause not only skin aging but also cancer.  The best thing you can do is use a separate broad spectrum SPF moisturizer before applying your makeup.  I have some listed in the next section.

 

 

 

Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector

Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector

 


How Much Broad Spectrum SPF Do You Need?

You want to choose a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum SPF” on the bottle so that you know it is protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays (protection from premature aging of the skin, burning and cancer).

 

 

Find The Right SPF For You

If You Are: Someone who only gets exposed to the sun on your daily commute to work or school, or on the occasional walk to the local store. You want protection from skin aging and the risk of skin cancer, but you know you aren’t in the sun much during the day.
Your Number: SPF 15

Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector SPF 15 – FYI: This is my go-to daily SPF for my face.  I love it!  I don’t have to wear a moisturizer with this; it gives me all the benefits of a daily moisturizer along with the SPF.  It is not greasy.  I have had just this on as sunscreen for an unexpected day out, when I really should have bumped up to 30+, and it performs amazingly.


If You Are:
Mr. or Ms. Outdoorsy.  You love being outside!  You hike, bike, jog, garden, play sports, etc. You need protection from prolonged exposure to the sun that will decrease the risk of skin aging and skin cancer.
Your Number: SPF 30 and higher, depending on your skin

Bioelements Raydefense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen – Again with the Bioelements, because I love their products!

Aveeno Continuous Protection Lotion Face SPF 30 – This one definitely feels and acts more like a typical sunscreen on the face, but has not broken me out when I use it.  I usually apply a separate moisturizer before this to give my skin a boost.  You can have a slight white pallor left on your face; it’s something you need to blend into your skin well.  I lather this or the SPF 70 on my son when we’ll be out all day.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock Body Mist, SPF 45

Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray, SPF 70+


If You Are:
Concerned specifically about lines, wrinkles, and sagging.  Fighting aging caused by the sun is a priority to you. You want a combination of an anti-aging moisturizer with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection while you are out and about.
Your Number: SPF 50

Bioelements SPF 50 Facescreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen – This lends itself better to people with combination/dry skin.  It improves the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and the feel of firmness, along with giving you the SPF of 50.  It takes the place of your daily moisturizer.  If you are very fair skinned you will still likely want a higher SPF.

 

The Facts on Skin Cancer

  • Half of all cancers in the U.S. are skin cancers (source: American Cancer Society)
  • UV ray exposure is the most preventable cause of skin cancer (source: American Academy of Dermatology)
  • One or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than double a person’s chances of developing skin cancer later in life (source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)
  • A person’s risk for skin cancer doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns at any age (source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)

 

Bottom Line

Make sunscreen a priority for yourself and your family – regardless of age.  You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so.  You’re ensuring that you’re fighting the #1 cause of aging, as well as doing what you can to decrease your risk of getting skin cancer significantly.