Posts tagged #Winter Skincare

Got Acne? Here's How to Care For Your Skin During Winter

"OMG -- I love getting pimples" - said no one ever. While we all hate getting pimples, according to the American Academy of Dermatology,  85% of males and females between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne, and the cost associated with the treatment of acne exceed 3 billion dollars! No matter what language you speak those are ridiculously high numbers.  Dealing with acne during warmer months is not a walk in the park, however, because of the drying nature of some products used to treat acne, it can be especially difficult during winter months.  With that in mind, I caught up with Bioelements Director of Education, Teresa Stenzel,  to get answers on How to Care for Acne Prone Skin During Winter, as well as some product suggestions to help you get through winter with, healthy, beautiful looking skin.

Some acne medications tend to dry out the skin - what are some tips to help acne sufferers during dry winter months?

Keep up the hydration level by literally saturating your skin with a toner that is designed to not only treat acne and kill bacteria, but has anti-inflammatory benefits. My favorite is our Bioelements Acne  Toner, as it’s a medicated toner that hydrates the skin with calming natural ingredients.  Also, don’t skip the sunscreen and moisturizer!  UV rays dry out the skin even during winter months, so a broad spectrum SPF that also moisturizes will protect the skin with a breathable barrier.  Most acne sufferers will want one that is not greasy; my personal favorite is RayDefense SPF30. This light and non-greasy creme gives the skin broad spectrum protection, and also provides moisturizing and anti-aging benefits. 

At  night, use a moisturizer that also doubles as a breakout fighter. Bioelements Oxygenation is formulated with stabilized hydrogen peroxide, which floods the skin with oxygen and helps kill the p. acne bacteria that leads to breakouts. Bioelements Beyond Hydration is a gel based moisturizer with skin strengthening Chinese herbs and water-binding vitamins and lipids.

Also, drink as much water as you can to hydrate from the inside out, avoid too many caffeine-laden drinks that can irritate the skin further, and wash with warm water, not hot!

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So, the pimples have cleared and now we have dark marks and acne scars — what is the quickest most effective way to rid the skin of hyperpigmentation and acne scars? What specific active ingredient should we seek out?  

Stubborn spots can be significantly and quickly addressed by choosing products that contain ingredients that will lighten and brighten, specifically targeting how pigment is produced within the cells (called melanocytes).  [Try to] avoid hydroquinone or any ingredients that bleach the skin, and instead choose a blend that combines science and nature together.  From nature, I like alpha arbutin (a natural alternative to hydroquinone with no negative side effects), natural melanin-inhibiting alpine plants such as peppermint leaf extract, pimula veris, veronica officinalis; and from science, dimethylmeothy chromanyl palmitate (which induces brightening and fights the signs of photo-aging). 

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Both contain a Triple-Action Brightening Blend. A recent study showed significant results in just 2 weeks with these products - improving dark spots and evening skin tone. 

Is acne helped or exasperated by sonic powered skin care brushes like the Clarisonic? 

In most cases, skin care brushes are prone to causing more injury to acneic skin, because the tendency is to apply way too much pressure. On a skin that is already compromised, infected with red and swollen breakouts, this is a bad idea. I recommend using your fingers to gently apply and massage in product. Even when the breakouts are under the skin, the bacteria is still present, so by using a rotating brush you run the risk of scratching the skin, and causing injury that can lead to bacteria spreading and potential scarring.

Oil cleansing has been trending for some time — are oil cleansers safe and effective for use on acne prone skin? 

Theoretically, oil attracts oil. So if you have very sensitive skin, occasional breakouts or oilier skin, I do like an oil-based cleanser. However, opt for one that the oil converts into a gentle foam so it doesn’t have a greasy texture, and also contains ingredients that hydrate and heal as they cleanse. Our Sensitive Skin Cleanser has olive oil, lavender, kissi seed and rosemary - all skin-friendly oils. However, if you have chronic, more moderate acne and hormonal breakouts that are inflamed, I prefer a gel-based medicated cleanser designed specifically to treat this condition. Our OTC Spotless Cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid, plus papaya and pineapple fruit enzymes to gently cleanse, kill acne bacteria and exfoliate pore-clogging skin cells.

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Do you suffer from acne?  How do you care for your skin during colder months?

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Posted on October 8, 2015 and filed under Skincare, Beauty.

Body Care Routine For Dry Winter Skin

Winter, the glorious time of year when you have to work hard to keep ashiness and cracked skin at bay.  No one wants to remove their clothes to reveal scaly dry skin, or worse yet have the Itchy and Scratchy Show going on under their layers of clothing.  If you battle dry skin, these products and tips will help you to stay moisturized during freezing temperatures.


I like to start with an exfoliator -- which can be as simple as a mixture of turbinado sugar and coconut oil or as fancy as a combination of exotic ingredients.  Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, increases circulation and prepares skin to better receive the moisture and other skin nourishing ingredients in your lotions, creams and oils. I exfoliate once or twice per week.



Tree Hut Sugar Scrub - basic scrub that leaves skin soft and smooth.  It's available in a myriad of scent combinations, all of them amazing.

St Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub  - If you have some body acne, this is a great choice.  Salicylic acid will help to treat body breakouts. 


If ever there was a time to switch to a moisturizing body wash, winter is that time. You want to get clean without drying out your skin.



Dove Moisturizing Body Wash - Quite possibly my favorite body wash of all time.  It cleans effectively while leaving skin super soft. It's great all year 'round but I appreciate it so much more during the winter months.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash -   uses Colloidal Oatmeal to soothe skin while a blend of natural oils replenishes skin's moisture levels. Works great on sensitive skin, too.

L'Occitane Arlésienne Shower Cream - a gently foaming shower cream that cleanses skin leaving it smelling lightly of rose and violet. 


You can't moisturize without water (or water like substance) and the best way to do that is with lotions and creams.  I want my lotions and creams to be moisturizing but I don't want them to feel like I'm wearing a latex bodysuit...I want my skin to be able to breathe.


The Body Shop Hemp Body Butter - This is one of my favorite body butter creams.  It provides all day moisture without feeling too heavy on the skin.  

Origins Precipitation Continuous Moisture Recovery -  a lightweight lotion that provides continuous moisturization through the use of Shea and Cocoa Butter, Sunflower, Soybean and Ginseng Oils as well as Aloe and Gentian Root.

Lancer The Method Body Nourish Creme - This is a moisturizer and exfoliant in one.  It is on my 2014 list of favorite products because it works exceptionally well.  Read a complete review here


Once  the temperatures hits freezing or below I almost always use an oil or a butter over my lotion or cream. The oils form a protective barrier over skin to lock in moisture.  Some people can get away with using just an oil or butter right out of the shower but on very cold days I need both because my skin gets very dry and there is nothing more annoying than feeling stiff, dry and itchy under layers of clothing.


Su-Kari Body Butter -  A mix of shea, coconut and mango butters that is whipped to perfection with jojoba oil, vitamin e and fragrance. Apply directly out of the shower or layer over your body cream or lotion for all day protection.  I also use it to seal the ends of my two strand twist.

Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil - has a coconut oil base.  It absorbs well into skin without a greasy feeling. I also use it in my hair.

Organic Coconut Oil - sometimes simple is best and organic coconut oil is as simple as it gets.  I use Trader Joe's but any organic coconut oil will do.  To get a better understanding of coconut oil and to find uses for hair, click here and here.

For me, the key to keeping moisturized during winter is layering product. Hope these tips and product suggestions work for you.

Posted on January 27, 2015 and filed under Skincare, Beauty.