The Truth About Tumeric

tumeric for healthy and beautyTumeric is a vivid yellow root that has been use dfor centuries to season food  and heal the body.  Popular in South Asian cuisone, tumeric has been part of medica care since 600 BC. It is a multi-talented spice that valued  valued for its ability to reduce inflammation warts and acne.  It even was  a standard care for wound healing after battles.

Modern research has shown that this spice is an effective antioxidant, anti bacterial and even has  anti-cancer fighting abilities. It is used to treat burns, insect bites, eczema psoriasis and skin ulcers.  That’s a pretty impresive list– and if something is that good there is usually a downside– and its true with tumeric.

The brilliant yellow color of this   effective  spice can cause problems for certain skin … Continue Reading…

Not All Freckles Are Equal

After a lifetime of happy, sun filled days, the skin  is dotted with freckles, dark spots  and patches.  But not all spots are equal.  There can be  little flat dark freckles, larger bumpy areas the size of a raisin  and even larger cafe au lait patches of melasma.

freckle before treatentI  have been exploring different lightening and brightening products on different dark spots on my face and limbs.  As it turned out these formulations are not effective  against  raised or very dark  areas of pigmentation.   I had tried just about everything on a tan rough spot on my arm which just kept getting bigger.  When I finally showed it to Dr Lefkovits, he diagnosed it as a seborrheic keratosis.  This is a benign growth that  comes with  both  age and sun exposure.  They have a waxy, flakey  appearance– not attractive, … Continue Reading…

Announcing New Skin of Color Tab

Fashion FLash Remembers-- Titi BranchEvery day I get great skin care questions from visitors to No-Nonsense Beauty Blog. Some like which moisturizer to wear with Retin A  or how does vitamin C work , I can answer easily.  Others like skin care during pregnancy deal with health  issues  that need an expert for  safe  and accurate info.  But its the questions about skin of color that challenge me the most.  All too often these questions ask for advice after standard treatments  have not  only failed , they have made the situation worse.

Skin of color is genuinely less troubled by acne and aging, but   its this  inherent strength that can lead to two common problems– irregular pigmentation and scarring.  For example at least once a week I get an  email asking about the safety of hydroquinone for lightening  dark patches. … Continue Reading…

Is Licorice Root Really Your Skin’s New Best Friend?

Licorice root If you thought licorice  root  is  just a sticky black candy, you and your skin are in for  some great news.  Licorice root  has been used for 4000 years in Egyptian  and Chinese  medicine to reduce inflammation and even out  skin color.  Grown in warm sunny climates, licorice root has different chemical compounds that have been shown to be effective for a wide range  of health problems, both inside and out.

Licorice root has a long and impressive list of benefits.  It has been used successfully to treat tooth decay, gum infections, stomach ulcers, sore throat and indigestion.  On the skin  a 1-2 %  licorice gel can relieve  seriously irritated skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and especially rosacea. Licorice can also inhibit production of melanin, making it a natural … Continue Reading…

What the Heck is Niacinamide?

Question and Answer logoQuestion:  What is  niacinamide and what can it do for  my skin?   I bought a moisturizer that promised to lighten dark patches.  Then I  read about another product that claimed niacinamide improves acne AND  smooths  fine lines.  Can niacinamide do all of these things?  None of them?

Answer:  Niacinamide  aka nicotinic acid is a form of vitamin B3 (aka niacin).  This vitamin is  essential for healthy skin, nerves and digestion.  Lack of niacin can lead to skin inflammation and nerve damage and over time severe lack of nacin  will lead to pellegra.

On the surface of the skin, niacinamide has a wide range of benefits.  There are   good clinical studies that show nicinamide can reduce inflammation of acne.  In fact a  study  showed that a 4-5% niacinamide gel is as effective as clindamycin in reducing acne– and without the concern  of developing … Continue Reading…

How Do I Deal with Dark Spots After Acne?

Question and answer logoActive acne is distressing at any age and acne scars can remain for years.  I’ve received numerous questions on different types of scars  and now superstar dermatologist  Dr Gary Goldenberg of Mount Sinai Medical Center has provided great solutions.  Today I am starting with the most common acne scars– those red or brown spots.

Question:  I’m 27 and finally got my acne under control, but now I have dark red spots on my cheeks and chin.  How can I get rid of them? And does the redness mean that acne scars will come back?

Answer:  Those dark red spots are called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or PIH.  They are the sign of a persistant inflammation that is  located deep in the dermis.  The body has to reabsorb  this damaged tissue– a process that takes 6-12 months.  Because they are formed  … Continue Reading…

Skin Brighteners vs Skin Lighteners– What’s the Difference?

skin lighteners erase frecklesQuestion:  Because I have dark spots on my face and chest, I bought a cream with licorice root  that promised to  “brighten”  my skin.  Then I saw another product with hydroquinone that claimed to “lighten” the skin.  Is there a difference in the promise?   Is one better than the other?

Answer:   Brown splotches and spots can appear on both light and darker skin tones.  There are three different types that are triggered by different situations:

1. Melasma is a brownish discoloration that occurs with pregnancy  or after use of birth control pills.

2. Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)   are dark areas or spots that are provoked  by injury to the skin like a bug bite, scratch, acne, or exzema.

3. Sun Damage  from unprotected or prolonged exposure to  UV rays is the … Continue Reading…

Can Women of Color Use Lasers? by Deb Chase

Women of ColorQuestion: Can a South Asian women use Forever Beautiful  laser to get rid of dark patches? Answer: According to Carissa, the amazing esthetician who works with Dr Z.Paul Lorenc, the short answer is— no.  The heat of  this  milder laser  could trigger new darkened areas and leave the skin with  irregular pigmentation.  To clarify  and brighten South Asian  skin  Carissa uses a two step  process.  First she pre-treats the skin with  for a few weeks with hydroquinone to put the melanin producing cells into sleep mode.   Then she exposes the skin to  a  Q switch YAG laser which was developed originally to remove black pigment in a tattoo.  The proceedure needs to be done very very carefully  and after treatment  sunscreens are essential.  To keep the skin smooth and clear  a 50SPF sunscreen should … Continue Reading…