Posts Tagged ‘ La Roche Posay ’

5 Simple Skincare Cheats To Improve Your Rosacea

Red faceYou’re red, you’re bumpy and you’re fed-up. Especially now we’re in the throes of winter. You get off the overheated tube into the stinging, cold wind and then back into a centrally-heated office. Your face is tingling and you know without even looking that your cheeks and nose rival those of Santa.

 

You’ve tried lots of anti-redness creams but they sting and burn when you put them on, they don’t seem to do much ….and as for green colour-corrective make-up…forget it.

 

How to get your complexion more compliant? Prescription products are a big part of the story; but I think that the bit that doctors often don’t spend enough time on is the support system. Here are some ways to calm troubled waters with good skincare choices.

 

  • Cleanse with care.

82% of rosacea sufferers complain of sensitivity to skincare products. This is due to a defect in skin barrier function, a part of the disease often forgotten but practically, this is a huge issue for women. “Everything burns” patients frequently say, when it comes to skincare.

So do use gentle non-foaming cleansers containing synthetic detergents, which are labelled fragrance-free (as opposed to unscented). Pat skin dry – don’t rub.

 

  • Ditch counter-productive habits.

This means physical exfoliation is to be avoided. Like, totally avoided. I even recommend skipping using a face cloth. Also skip products with questionable benefit that frequently do harm, like astringent toners – avoid anything with alcohol or witch hazel in it. The one exception to the exfoliation rule is the use of salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, which is useful in those with oily skin and also prone to acne blemishes and comedones, as its anti-inflammatory.

 

  • Moisturise but don’t antagonize.

The right moisturiser will improve skin texture (so often those with rosacea have skin that’s rough to the touch) and boost skin tolerance. I think that moisurising flexibly is a good idea – I talk to patients about good days’ (lighter) and bad days’ ( a little more oomph) moisturiser. Skin is a dynamic organ and it will be oilier in the week before your period and at certain times of year – we should adapt to our environment accordingly. Water-based moisturisers work best and f you’re also prone to acne blemishes (common conditions commonly overlap) stick to non-comedogenic products, from brands like Cetaphil and Avene.

 

  • Don’t skip on UV protection

Physical sunscreen tends to be better tolerated and less irritating than chemical sunscreens; applying moisturiser beforehand facilitates smooth application without annoying pilling, where little white bits come off…and allow time for it to dry before putting on make-up. I think that it is very much worth investing a little more in this product to find one that’s cosmetically elegant to ensure you apply it properly. Not only is sunlight the commonest rosacea trigger, rosacea plus sunlight is a potent way to degrade your dermis and age prematurely. Brrrrr.

 

  • Avoid heavy cosmetics that require a Brillo pad to remove.

 

Keep base light and low risk for irritation (Bioderma and La Roche Posay both do great sensitive skin-friendly products) and use a more high coverage product just where its needed; for this Vichy Dermablend Liquid Foundation works well. Apply with a damp Beauty Blender to gentle build coverage just where its needed.

 

If there any specific questions relating to rosacea I’ve not answered (it’s a big topic, and one of the most searched for on my blog) drop me a line below.

How To Not End Up A Hot Mess + Care For Your Skin After Hot Exercise

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Keeping fit has become a sticky business of late –  it makes sense, as you are bendier and less likely to hurt yourself when everything’s warm’n’limber. But staying beautiful (especially if you’re headed back to the office after a reviving mid-day work-out) becomes a challenge. Especially, if you suffer from acne. This is clearly a recurring phenomenon – in my recent visit to Psycle (THE place to get your groove on whilst having a massive endorphin hit) I overheard exactly 3 women bemoaning blemishes during the time it took me to go to the loo. Girlfriends who do Bikram say the same thing. Here’s my plan for keeping it together:

BEFORE CLASS:

1)   Keep make-up light on work-out days – use a non-comedogenic, light-textured tinted moisturiser (love Nars). Conceal where needed (Vichy Dermablend Foundation Stick won’t block pores and can mask Vesuvius – a must-have in your kit). Skip powder + use blotting papers if 11 o’clock shine is a problem (love MAC ones)– you can work with base that isn’t powdered; you can’t when it is. And of course, keep eye make-up to a minimum – curl lashes and use only waterproof mascara, obv.

DURING CLASS:

2)   Hair up – loose topknot works best. Bobble water for hydration. Forget face.

AFTER CLASS:

3)   Blot face. Inspect the damage. If you’ve kept it light, you should just be able to touch up your base/concealer where needed. Blusher should be unnecessary. A bit of lip-colour and you should be all set. For body, I think wipes are acceptable. If breakouts are an issue, use a medicated one like Murad Clarifying Wipes or get Stridex Acne Pads from the US. For hair, spritz volumising spray on roots (I like PhytoVolume Actif Volumizing Spray) and use dryer and round brush to get a bit of root lift and restyle front sections of hair. Blast it underneath near the nape of the neck.

LATER:

4)   Work on your complexion – don’t acquiesce to breakouts; get a plan. This will save you so much time in the long-run, not to mention free up valuable headspace for much more important things (like what colour to get Lexie workout gear in). Get a kit together consisting of something like: La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel and Effaclar Duo and Effaclar H (for day). Swap Effaclar Duo for Avene Triacneal at night. And of course a broad-spectrum sunscreen that works like primer (MUST be non-comedogenic). If that isn’t improving things, go see a derm.

5 Things You Must Know Before Using a Facial Cleansing Brush

Home-use devices are a huge growth area in beauty right now.  And rightly so. They represent a brilliant stepping stone on the path to great skin, providing a little more oomph for women who’ve been disappointed by too many over-the-counter cosmetics but aren’t quite ready yet for the dermatologist’s office.

The cleansing brush is one of thImagee easiest to use and the benefits are immediately obvious – they provide thorough make-up removal without the need for double-cleansing and provide better penetration of serums and moisturiser used afterwards. They also look and feel …. well, fun. A little bit like high-end sex-toys. BUT they can also completely wreck your skin if used wrongly.

So here are some simple tips to help make sure you get the most out of your gismo.

1)   Let it do all the work. Now I’ve listened to many disillusioned women who come into clinic bemoaning the fact that they’ve spent serious cash on one of these devices and then wonder why they’re all red/irritated/broken-out. So I asked one of them to bring it in with her and show me how she used it. Answer: like a Brillo pad. We girls just love a good old scrub. Wrong. It does the heavy lifting so we don’t have to. Literally just hold it in contact with your skin, and let it whirr away as you gently pass it over the various zones of the face.

2)   Now, speaking of red/irritated…. I really don’t think anyone needs to use these devices twice a day. Start off using 3 times a week at night. See how you get on. Thick, oily skin with big pores may well tolerate up to nightly use, but it’s rarely necessary, unless you are wearing industrial-strength make-up every day (in which case we need to talk about make-up!). Sensitive skin needs a brush with a sensitive head, and 3 times a week, like physical exfoliants, is more than enough. Be especially cautious coming into winter.

3)   Which brings me to the cleanser that comes with many of these brushes. It should be gentle and non-foaming. Otherwise the combination of manual cleansing plus surfactants will demolish your skin’s barrier function, leaving you…yes, that’s right. Red/irritated/broken-out. Good ones include Cetaphil Cleanser, La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel and Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser. All are non-comedogenic, which is how I like my cleansers.

4)   Avoid if you have active acne or rosacea. These may well be suitable at a later point, when the battlefield is calm and you have the active inflammatory ‘fire’ under control. But do this first with topical actives and keep everything else gentle. Introduce your brush only when stability has kicked in and all your comedones (i.e. spot precursors) have been sorted with a retinoid.

5)   Recognise that the cleansing brush is only one part of a comprehensive skincare regime – alone, it won’t anti-age anyone but what it does do is make useful things you leave on the skin work more effectively and give you the feel-good factor that comes with a senses-pleasing ritual.

Heat Wave Beauty – 5 Ways to Survive This Unprecedented Sticky Spell

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I was rather shocked by the picture of a certain young socialite looking beyond-bronzed in the recent press – aside from the serious implications in terms of skin health, from an aesthetic perspective, it just looked……well, dated. This heavily bronzed look circa Lancaster 1982 is about a million light years away from the modern ideal of dewy, luminous light-reflective skin.

From my experience, I think a lot of people still rely on a tan for concealment –whether its to hide blemishes, the pigmentation they leave behind or to mask scarring.  THIS. IS. NOT. A. GOOD. IDEA.  Sun makes dark patches darker, makes skin break out when you come back to cool climes and will give you wrinkles and sagging to worry about as an extra bonus.

Here are some tips to get the most from this mood-boosting time of year without sacrificing your complexion.

1)   Switch your usual sunscreen cream formulation to a lightweight gel; this simple tip is often much appreciated by my male patients, who simply can’t abide that sticky feel on their skin, which leads to them skipping it. I love Heliocare Advanced SPF 50 Gel and La Roche Posay Anthelios  Gel-Cream SPF50.

2)   Add in an antioxidant layer under your sunscreen – Silymarin is of great interest at the moment – you might have heard of its liver detoxifying properties. But it’s also a powerful photo-protector too. This milk-thistle extract is a polyphenol, which has potent free radical zapping properties and is great for hyperpigmentation.  Find it in Skinceuticals Face Balm – great for dry, sun-damaged skin.

3)   Boost your skin’s defenses from the inside – drink green tea after meals, make your own pasta sauce from fresh tomatoes slow-cooked in olive oil and graze on leafy greens.  All are rich in nutrients, which help block the chemical reactions that lead to sun damage.

4)   Skip powder. Powder and summer don’t gel well. A gooey mess quickly develops, and it becomes impossible to touch up through the course of the day and will cake, highlighting lines. Ick. Keep base sheer and light and only build coverage where you need it with concealer. Keep t-zone shine at bay with blotting papers, leaving cheeks naturally glowy.

5)   If you need bronze, fake it. If you’re breakout prone, don’t leave it on overnight and try to use non-comedogenic self tanner. Try Clarins Liquid Bronze and Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning.

5 Skincare Tricks To Survive the Glastonbury Festival

Image Its festival time of year and the cooler members of my client-base have recently been asking for some easy skin care cheats which will ensure that their Instagram pics don’t shame them for years to come. Naturally, the easiest way to look great in adverse circumstances (dermatologically speaking) is to have the best skin possible naturally, rendering products de trop.  Alas, for most mortals this is not feasible. So here is my guide to getting by in the great outdoors.

1)   Get thee a big bottle of Micellar Lotion and a wad of cotton pads.Image

These are the smart girl’s wipe. No rinsing required and no nasty pore-clogging residue left in its wake. I adore Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution. Thankfully now widely available at Lloyds chemists.

2)   Moisturising sunscreen – now, I’m usually a separatist, when it comes to skin care. I’m a firm believer that there is only so much ‘space’ in a product for active ingredients so trying to cram 8 different functions into one usually means that none of them are done very well…..but you CAN moisturise whilst sun-protecting….. And it would be madly unfortunate to get sunburnt during a freak spell of UV on day 1. I’m fond of La Roche Posay Melt-in Cream for this purpose,as it offers a bit more hydration than the other Anthelios products, along with the stellar UVA/B protections. BUT it’s also tinted – so it’s practically a BB cream ( and far more effective at doing the things it’s designed to than most of those will ever be).  Genius.

3)   Spot cream. Yes, this might seem like a luxury, in priority terms – but ultimately if clear skin is the key to the minimalist festival skin approach, then its imperative to have some sort of zit zapper to hand for when the late nights lead to that throbbing sensation of doom on your chin and you spy Vesuvius erupting in your tiny compact mirror. So nuke it with either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. I like Murad Acne Spot Treatment and Obagi Therapeutic Lotion.Image

4)   A balm to heal all irritated ails, whether nettle stings, cracked lips, sore heels or just general dry bits. La Roche Posay Cicoplast Baume is fab. Image

5)   Eye-liner. Ok, so not strictly a skin care trick (you caught me out) but actually, you can get by on the above 4 things, just about but ‘4 skincare tricks….’ doesn’t make for such a catchy title. Eyeliner is the one make-up item that transforms a look. Think Carine Roitfeld, who apparently can apply her signature black eyeliner without a mirror. Quite a nifty talent for a festival, I’d have thought….although somehow I don’t see her camping. I’ve discovered the amazing Kevyn Aucoin’s ‘The Eyeliner Primatif’. Uber-premium but glides on like a dream with no pesky drag and has a wonderful smudging gismo on the end.

So there you have it. Your skin care 101 to surviving a festival. Go forth and party (relatively) bare-faced and enjoy with my blessing.

Q:When is acne not acne? A: When it’s perioral dermatitis

I’ve had a cluster of patients presenting with a troublesome facial eruption that’s been mislabelled and thought I’d blog about it because it’s very pleasing to sort and responds rapidly to correct treatment – woo-hoo!

So the common scenario is a female (like melasma, only about 10% of sufferers are men) who has spots near the mouth – within the nose-to-mouth creases and around the chin.

This has a very classic appearance – lots of tiny bumps that look the same, often joining up – but they tend to spare the skin directly next to the lip edge. The skin may be dry and flakey. The bumps on the chin are what tend to lead to the misdiagnosis of acne, as it bears similarity to the distribution of adult female-pattern acne. It can also appear around the eyes (and is then termed periorificial dermatitis) and if severe, spread onto the cheeks. Importantly, clogged pores or comedones are not a feature; this is one of the key features that distinguishes it from acne.

No-one really knows what causes this annoying problem – but the ‘wrong’ type of skin care aggravates it and topical steroids, especially the stronger variants are a common trigger.

When someone presents with this, the first thing I do is to suspend the current skincare regime (and frequently impose a make-up cull). A non-comedogenic regime is the order of the day (I know…I sound like a broken record). We have an excellent choice of soothing, non-clogging products to choose from, courtesy of French pharmacy brands like Bioderma and La Roche Posay and sometimes this will be enough to solve the problem. If topical steroids are the cause, occasionally things get worse before they get better, but stopping them is essential so stick at it.

More severe cases will benefit from prescription medication – my preferred approach is topical (azelaic acid 15-20%) and oral tetracyclines. Usually treatment for 6-8 weeks will sort things out. So satisfying.

A good skin care regime to try if you suffer from perioral dermatitis is as follows  :

Cleanse : La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel (one of my all-time favourites, non-foaming but effective at removing make-up)

Treatment product – if using a prescription product like Finacea (15% azelaic acid) apply it now, to clean skin morning and night.

Moisturise : Bioderma Sebium Hydra ( a lightweight non-clogging moisturiser for oily skin that’s dry or irritated)

Protect : Obagi Nu Derm Sunshield SPF 50 (lightweight matte finish, excellent physical block without the whitish cast)

Image : courtesy of http://www.drumd.com/

BAFTA Beauty-Ready For Your Close-up?

It’s a fascinating spectacle and one I never tire of watching- the nominees bask in the approbation of their adoring public as they glide down the red carpet and receive recognition for their endeavours. And of course the BAFTAs are so much more important, now that they precede the Oscars and are a strategic prequel to the glamour of London Fashion Week.

This years’ best actress line-up is a curiously diverse one, from an aesthetic perspective. Relative unknown Berenice Bejo is a delicious beauty of Argentinian/French extraction (such a winning combination, genetically speaking)-and is a superb example of how women in their 30’s are peaking professionally, even in the fickle world of film. What does she need to get red-carpet ready? Her complexion best suits hair colour in the more chocolate-y end of the spectrum, rather than the copper tones she sported to the Oscar nominees lunch. So much more chic. She has the delicacy of Marion Cotillard-so needs to keep that complexion crystal-clear with skin brighteners, to avoid pigmentation issues. Her Argentinian heritage may well put her at risk of an uneven skin-tone. Her go-to product: La Roche Posay Pigment Control.

Tilda Swinton is at the opposite end of the spectrum. This cerebral beauty (she went to my college at Cambridge University) has the most elegant, alabaster skin. Inconceivable that she would sully it with fake-tan-no make-under required here, Pod. She is the poster-girl for Pomellato jewellery, makers of exquisite confections that tempt one to sell a kidney to procure. To gild this lily requires precise exfoliation to let the canvas do the talking. Her go-to product: Nubo Diamond Peel and Reveal, a 2-phase exfoliant which has remarkable, lustre-giving properties. And sunblock daily, 365 days per annum-Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 would work brilliantly.

Michelle Williams has come a long way since Dawsons Creek, that oh-so-earnest teen drama I so dearly loved (were adolescents ever so verbose?). She has an incredibly classic, chic look-Mia Farrow’s haircut has never been so perfectly borrowed. She is just starting to get a few early changes in the skin under the eyes, which is to be expected in one so fair at 32-so she should adopt a peptide cocktail in her eye cream, to stimulate collagen production and support those delicate capillaries which can leak and trigger dark circles. Her go-to product: Kinerase Pro+ Therapy Ultra Rich Eye Repair.

From the editor at Runway to Margaret Thatcher-Meryl Streep has an effortless ability to bring strong women to life on screen, with her regal features and commanding presence. She has tremendous bones-all the better to hang great skin off. She would benefit tremendously from a prescription retinoid for a good 3 months before her big event, to build collagen; and on the night she should apply a a hyaluronic acid-rich sheet mask to intensely hydrate the epidermis and prime her skin for make-up that will stay dewy and crease-free all night. She should use Obagi tretinoin 0.1% at night (in conjuction with sunscreen, on prescription only) and prep with an SK II facial treatment mask.

Finally we come to Viola Davis, nominated for The Help, who is coming into her own in her 40s. She has the kind of lush complexion that doesn’t wrinkle but as with all darker skin-types, she needs to be careful as it can look ashy. To make it pop she should nourish it with antioxidants that maximize radiance-Vitamin C and Niacinamide will feed her skin and make it gleam. Her go-to products: Agera Intensive MagC gel for day and Alpha H Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair Serum.