Thursday, November 16, 2017

Blackhead, Whitehead, Pimple and Blind Pimple Differences and Removal

freeman dead sea mineral mask
We all have our bouts with breakouts. Some of us more than others. There are differences between the different types of acne blemishes. It helps to know the differences so they can be treated and healed as quickly as possible. I mention many of my favorite acne fighting products in this post with Amazon links to the brands so you can easily find them, read reviews and purchase products at your convenience with great Amazon prices.

Pimples, blind pimples, whiteheads and blackheads are all forms of clogged pores that are associated with acne and oily skin. The clogged pore problems begin with the oil glands in the skin producing an excess amount of oil. A buildup of dead cells clogs the pores trapping the oil. Then, bacteria numbers grow within the pores resulting in pimples. 

Acne skin blemishes, including pimples, blind pimples, whiteheads and blackheads, are referred to as comedones. The oil glands keep producing sebum whether the pore is clogged or not and the comedone will keep getting bigger until it is resolved through extraction or internal healing. A pore is also called a hair follicle. The oil that is produced by the oil glands within the hair follicles is called sebum.

Good skin care is important to help heal the skin, reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and prevent dehydration. Use products that are listed as non comedogenic which contain ingredients that will not clogged the pores. Also, look for products that contain ingredients, such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, that kill bacteria and remove dead skin cells. Take good care of oily acne prone skin with cleansers, toners, spot treatments, moisturizers and masks that are specifically formulated specifically for oily acne prone skin. 

Whiteheads
A whitehead is a clogged pore that is covered by a thin layer of dead cells. This makes it a closed comedone, it has no opening. It's a whitish looking bump that doesn't feel hard or pearly. A whitehead has no inflammation. There is no redness or swelling but it can become infected with bacteria and become a pimple. A whitehead is different than milia. 

Read about milia

Whiteheads are difficult to remove due to the fact that they have no opening. An opening must be made by lancing the skin in order to extract it out. Any hole made in the skin can result in a scar. Lancing is best left to the dermatologists. 

I feel the best way to remove whiteheads is through exfoliation done on a regular basis with salon/spa treatments and good home care. Gentle scrubs, peels and other exfoliating products remove dead skin cell build up helping to open up the whiteheads and slough them way. 

Professional Peels
Professional salon and spa peels have a higher acid content than retail peels you can use at home giving quicker results.

Home Peels 
A non abrasive soft peel or liquid peel done at home in between facials is an excellent way to continue the exfoliation process. Do a peel once a week.
Try: YonKa Gommage 303, it's a gentle soft gel peel

Buy for Yonka Gommage 303 on Amazon

Gentle Scrubs
Many scrubs are too abrasive. They actually cause microscopic scratches in the skin. Use a gentle scrub only once or twice a week. My daughters adore Formula 10.0.06 products!
Try Formula 10.0.06 Be Berry Sassy Exfoliating Face Scrub

Alpha Hydroxy & Salicylic Acid Products 
Many acne fighting and anti aging products contain these acids derived from fruits, milk, sugar cane and willow bark. They are very gentle and effective at removing dead cells and brightening the skin. These acids can be in face washes, treatment products, masks and creams.

Read more about Alpha Hydroxy Acids 
Read more about Salicylic Acid and Allergies

Moisturize
Believe it or not, oily skin needs moisturizer just like any other skin type to help prevent dehydration and keep the surface of the skin soft and pliable. Hydrated skin heals quicker that dehydrated skin. Use a moisturizer formulated for oily, acne prone skin.
Try: Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer

Shop for Yes to Tomatoes on Amazon

Blackheads
A blackhead is a mix of hardened clogged sebum and dead skin cells in the pore. The black appearance blackheads have isn't dirt, it's oxidized melanin. Melanin is the dark pigment we have in our skin. The body protects itself against the UV radiation from the sun by having the skin produce more melanin creating a tan. The blackhead oxidizes because it is exposed to air making an open comedone meaning there is no skin layer covering it. A blackhead has no inflammation.

Extraction
Blackheads can usually be easily extracted out after the skin is properly prepped. The prepping lessen the trauma to the skin during the extraction process. They can be removed using covered fingertips or with a comedone extractor. A comedone extractor is a metal tool with a loop the pressed the blackhead out.

Professional Facials
Salon and spa professional facials include many effective skin softening techniques and products to prepare the skin for extraction. Estheticians have been trained to do blackhead extraction the proper way minimizing discomfort and irritation to the skin.

Alpha Hydroxy & Salicylic Acid Products 
Alpha Hydroxy & Salicylic Acid products are also great preventing blackheads. Many acne fighting and anti aging products contain these acids derived from fruits, milk, sugar cane and willow bark. They are very gentle and effective at removing dead cells and brightening the skin. These acids can be in face washes, treatment products, masks and creams.
Try Dermalogica Daily Micro Exfoliant, a gentle rice based product with salicylic acid and enzymes

Shop for Dermalogica on Amazon

Clay Masks
I find clay masks to be very beneficial for a variety of skin problems including blackheads. Clay is soothing, healing and drawing. The drawing property of clay is especially good for helping to loosen blackheads. Use a mask once a week to help reduce blackheads.
Try: Formula 10.0.06 Three Times Sublime 3 in 1 Blackhead wash+scrub+mask, it leaves your skin feeling super clean!

Shop for Formula 10 0 06 on Amazon 

Moisturize
Again, it may sound crazy, but oily skin needs moisturizer just like any other skin type to help prevent dehydration and keep the surface of the skin soft and pliable. Use a moisturizer formulated for oily, acne prone skin.
Try: Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Daily Moisturizing Lotion, it's a lightweight, calming moisturizer.

Shop for Burt's Bees Acne Solutions on Amazon

Pimples
A pimple is an clogged pore that has become infected. Acne bacteria feeds on the excess amount of oil and grows out of control. There is inflammation, redness pain and swelling. There can also be a pustule, a yellowish white dot, on top of the pimple. The body is creating inflammation to fight the infection. Use acne fighting skin care products. Avoid abrasive scrubs. Use a liquid or gel peel instead.

Extraction
Pimples can be extracted but carefully. Improper pimple popping can force the infection deeper into the skin and cause scarring. The skin must be softened and prepared before extraction and you must be careful not to spread bacteria. Pimples can be popped using covered fingertips or with a comedone extractor. 

Professional Facials
Get a facial instead of doing your own pimple popping. Salon and spa professional facials include many skin softening techniques and products to prepare the skin for extraction. Estheticians have been trained to do pimple extraction the proper way to prevent the spread of infection and they have all the lotions and potions to promote healing.

Professional Peels
Professional salon and spa peels have a higher acid content than retail peels you can use at home giving quicker results.

Home Peels 
A non abrasive peel done at home in between facial is an excellent way to continue the exfoliation process. Do a peel once a week.

Spot Treatment
Use a spot treatment on the pimple that will help kill bacteria and speed up the healing process
Try: Formula 10.0.06 On your Mark, it heals with bilberry, lemon and salicylic acid.
Try: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, it heals with salicylic acid, sulfur and calamine

Shop for Mario Badescu on Amazon

Natural Remedy: You can also apply a layer of Manuka honey to the pimple like a mask. Leave it on 10 or 15 minutes and rinse. Honey, particularly Manuka honey is highly anti microbial, nutritional and healing.

Benzoyl Peroxide & Salicylic Acid
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are very effective blemish fighting ingredients used in acne products. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and salicylic acid removes dead cell build up. Many people can be sensitive to benzoyl peroxide and experience excessive redness, tightness and itching. It has a bleaching action that can discolor your clothes and sheets. It's a great acne treatment if you aren't sensitive to it.
Try: Pro Active Products

Moisturize
Even skin broken out with pimples needs moisturizer just like any other skin type to help prevent dehydration, flaking and keep the surface of the skin soft and pliable. Use a moisturizer formulated for oily, acne prone skin.
Try: Pro Active Oil Free Moisturizer, it helps reduce shine and calms the skin.

Shop for Proactive on Amazon

Blind Pimples
Blind pimples are infected clogged pores deep in the skin. They frequently occur due to hormone fluctuations and imbalances. They have no opening and become hard, painful, inflamed cysts. They hurt so much you just want to squeeze them out to get rid of them but, they should never be squeezed. Squeezing a blind pimple can rupture the hair follicle spilling the infection into the surrounding tissue spreading the infection under the skin resulting is a much larger lump, even longer healing time and possible scarring.

The blind pimple can resolve itself by working it's way to the surface of the skin or the immune system can break it down so that it can be absorbed internally.

Ice
Apply ice to a blind pimple that is just starting to reduce the inflammation.

Hot Compresses and Anti microbials
Apply a thin layer of a topical antibiotic then apply a hot compress to encourage the infection to come to the surface so it can drain or drain internally. Hot compresses also help to relieve pain.

Natural Remedy: You can also apply a layer of Manuka honey to the blind pimple followed by the hot compress. Honey, particularly Manuka honey is highly anti microbial, nutritional and healing.

Shop for Manuka Honey on Amazon


Clay Masks
I find clay masks very beneficial for a variety of skin problems including blind pimples. Clay is soothing, healing and drawing. Apply the mask to the blind pimple twice a day. YonKa Masque 103 is extra healing because it contains clay along with healing botanicals and essential oils.

Shop for YonKa Masque 103 on Amazon

Moisturize
Skin with blind pimples also needs moisturizer to help prevent dehydration and keep the surface of the skin soft and pliable. Use a moisturizer formulated for oily, acne prone skin.
Try: The Organic Pharmacy Face Cream Manuka, an amazing light weight healing, calming cream with Manuka, cedarwood and lavender. 

Shop The Organic Pharmacy on Amazon

When all else fails!
A dermatologist can inject a blind pimple with cortisone to help it heal faster. 

See me for an acne treatment facial

So there it is. The comedone differences and some tips to treat them at the salon or spa and at home. There is no need for you to walk around feeling uncomfortable and self conscious about your skin. I have worked with many clients with acne issues who experienced significantly less breakouts with a regimen of facials and good home care.

There are great skin care products and natural remedies you can try. If one brand doesn't work for you, try another. Different brands use different combinations of acne fighting ingredients. One combination could be more effective for your skin than another. Also, many times but no always, it's best to stick products from one brand. A brand designs it's products to all work together to correct and balance your skin. 

Please go to a dermatologist is your acne condition gets too out of hand. There are many medical treatments available to help clear your skin that will work in conjunction with the more natural facial and skin care product approach.

As Always, Have a Beautiful Day!
xo
Jill

Monday, November 6, 2017

Zoya Party Girls Holiday/Winter Collection 2017 review & swatches

What can I say, Zoya has created another beautiful nail polish collection! The name fits this collection for sure. The Zoya Party Girls Holiday/Winter Collection is a mix of rich creamy and sparkly colors that are just perfect for the upcoming holiday season!
zoya party girls
The colors are opaque with just one coat, richly pigmented and provide nice coverage with the exception of Nadia which is a sheer overcoat. Let's have a look at each one. First up, Nadia.
Nadia 
A sheer sparkly pumpkin gold topper that adds a warm shimmering glow to any color. You can build up the color with 3 or more coats if you wish to wear it alone. My daughter loves to wear this color all by it's self.
zoya nadia

Solstice
A red orange with a soft sparkling metallic shimmer. I'm not an orange girl. Orange makes my skin look yellow, but this color has enough red in it to look great with my skin tone.
zoya solstice

Tawny 
A beautiful rosy copper with a lovely metallic shimmer. It was love at first sight for my clients!
zoya tawney
zoya nadia, solstice and tawney
Nadia, Solstice and Tawney gradient nails

Ming 
A medium toned bright red cream. I call it a Chinese red. Glossy and gorgeous! It went on my toes immediately.

zoya ming


Sheri
 A medium toned creamy red. Another fabulous glossy red! It's a deeper red than Ming.
zoya sheri
zoya ming and sheri
Sheri french tip over Ming

Fallon 
A magenta with a refined pearl finish. It looks simply amazing with a black outfit.
zoya fallon

Kelsey 
An awesome creamy hot bluey pink. A perfect party color!
zoya kelsey
zoya kelsey and fallon
Kelsey with Fallon polka dots

Danielle 
A deep periwinkle cream. Periwinkle is a blue purple color that looks great on many skin tones. It's a beauty!
zoya danielle

Delaney 
A multi chromatic purple flip. This metallic shimmer has shades of green, blue, purple and pewter that looks different in various lighting and angles. 
zoya delaney

Landon 
A deep creamy purple with a hint of red. Rich plumy gloss!
zoya landon
zoya danielle, delaney and landon
Danielle, Delaney and Landon color block design with negative space stripe

Isadora 
A deep red plum with a glowing refined pearl finish. It has amazing depth.
zoya isadora
zoya isadora

Blake 
A dark sapphire blue with a refined pearl finish with hints of gold and oh, the glass like finish! I'm in love!
zoya blake
zoya blake

Honestly, it's hard for me to pick a favorite. They are all so great! If I had to choose, Ming, Isadora and Blake would be a three way tie for first for me. You can't go wrong with any of these colors. They are all so beautiful!

As always, Zoya polish is vegan and 10 free which means it's free of the
ingredients formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, camphor, TPHP,parabens, xylene, ethyl tosylamide and lead.
Find the Party Girls Collection at salons, spas and zoya.com.

 Have a Colorful Day!
xo
Jill



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Black Cat Carved Pumpkin & Halloween Decorating Ideas

ceramic pumpkin
Fall is not my favorite time of year. Flowers are dying off, the days get shorter and 
winter is coming. Also, orange is not one of my favorite colors but, I have to admit, the orange leaves and orange pumpkins do look warm and bright against my stone fireplace. 

I especially like turquoise with the orange. Blue and orange are complimentary colors so they look great together. It's good. I need my home feel warm and happy. We have always done cute, not scary decorating at our house for Halloween even though my older daughter loves creepy stuff.
fall fire place decorations
Happy pumpkins and black cats are our style. Little battery operated lights added to my autumn leaf wreath create a happy nighttime twinkle. Wire the battery box to the back of the wreath so no wires show. 

Some fun gold glittery polka dotted pumpkins from Joann Fabrics and Crafts were definitely a happy addition to my mantle this year. They will stay there through Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving decorations will replace the Halloween things and all the fall things will stay until it's time to decorate for Christmas.

Some battery operated tea lights add some nice flickering light. They're great because there is no fire concern.
fall decorations for mantle
One of my favorite fall decorations is this crow. One of my girls made it in pre school out of newspaper, masking tape painted black, feathers and gems for the eyes. I just love it! The skull bottle is as spooky as we get around here. lol!
black crow
Halloween is always a fun time. Costumes, makeup and pumpkin carving are all good. Every year I say I'm going carve a black cat out of pumpkins like a pic I saw in Better Homes and Gardens years ago. Well, I finally did it and I'm really happy with how it came out!
pumpkin black cat
I started by hollowing and carving eyes in the small pumpkin for the cat's head. This happened to be a pie pumpkin which is harder and denser than a carving pumpkin. A bit more difficult to carve. Look for carving pumpkins for easier carving. Sometimes, the right size pumpkin happens to be a pie pumpkin and you just have to go for it! 

It helps if you have the right carving tools. Not cheap ones that are dull and bend when you use them. Save the pumpkin seeds from your carved pumpkin for roasting.
pumpkin seeds
Two coats of acrylic craft paint worked well to paint the pumpkins black. I like the matte finish. It will scratch off kind of easily, though. Black spray paint in a matte or glossy finish would also work. It's faster but my husband always manages to see the teeniest bit of overspray and gives me a hard time about it, so painting with a brush is the best choice for me!

The bottom pumpkin is solid and uncarved. The tail is a gourd. Thin spaghetti made great whiskers. The kitty's sequin and rhinestone collar and ears are felt pinned to the pumpkin. I found the perfect sequin for the nose. 

This pumpkin cat actually freaked out one of my cats especially the glowing eyes!😺 I caught her reaction on video.
carved black cat with glowing eyes
I put a video together to give you construction tips if you want to make your own pumpkin cat. My kitty's reaction is in it too! I also included how to roast pumpkin seeds.

Click here to watch the How to Make a Pumpkin Black Cat video!

I'm thinking about making another one from those carvable pumpkins that are sold in craft stores so I have a permanent pumpkin kitty to put out every year.


roasted pumpkin seeds
Have a Warm and Happy Fall!
xo
Jill 
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