The Pros and Cons of Royal Bee Jelly

Royal bee Jelly questionQuestion:  Each morning  my neighbor puts  1/2 teaspoon of  Royal Bee Jelly in her tea.  She swears  it helps her skin  glow as well as soothes her  arthritic knee.  Have you any experience with this product?  Its $140/ jar  and I don’t want  to waste   my money.

Answer:  I agree, our money is a terrible thing to waste.  Royal Bee Jelly is another  centuries old remedies that is still popular in Europe and Asia.  It is a cloudy white secretion from worker bees that is used to feed the Queen Bee.  Since Queen Bees are twice the size and live 40X longer than standard bees, there is  great interest in the potential benefits for humans.

Research on Royal Bee Jelly

Since the 1950’s there have been  a … Continue Reading…

Lanolin– the Good, The Bad and The Ugly

lanolin comes from sheepQuestion:  What do you think about lanolin?  Some  experts say  its the closest to natural human skin oil.  But I have also read that it causes skin problems.  Who is right?

Answer:  Actually they are both right.  Lanolin is extracted from the wool sheared off from sheep.  It indeed shares  many characteristics   of human skin oil and is definitely a very  effective emollient for  both skin and hair.  As a byproduct of wool, this oil  is both inexpensive and wonderfully sustainable. Wool ( and lanolin) can be harvested without harming the sheep.  Nice.

The Bad News About Lanolin

But lanolin has a dark side.  There is definately  a group of people who have a true allergy to this popular moisturizing ingredient.  It can cause red … Continue Reading…

Purslane- The Power Packed Health and Beauty Plant

purslaneQuestion:  I heard   a radio show that discussed the beauty benefits of  an herb called  purslane.  It sounds amazing, maybe too amazing.  Do you recommend it for anti-aging skin care?

Answer:  Cool question!  Purslane is one of the oldest  and widely used medical plants.  It is found throughout the world in warm climates and is a popular vegetable in the Middle and Far East.  Purslane is packed with minerals and  vitamins including, zinc, iron, potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene.  But wait there’s more.   Purslane has the highest levels of Omega 3 fatty acids found in a vegetable. Seriously.

Studies have shown that purslane preperations  made from dried leaves have significant  anti-inflammatory and anti- pain properties.  To my mind this makes a purslane  the perfect  treatment for  a … Continue Reading…

Is Micellar Water As Good As They Say?

Micelle Question and AnswerQuestion:  What do you think of the Micellar cleansers?  I have rosacea and I am always looking for a non-irritating way of  washing my face.

Answer: I hear you.  I’ve got sensitive skin too  and I am always looking for effective cleansers that don’t trigger problems.   I am intrigued by the narrative about Micellar cleansers and your question pushed me to do  both  book and practical reseach.

Micellar Cleansers 101

Micellaire waters are clear, usually colorless and often fragrance free.  They are applied with a cotton ball, applied to the face to remove dirt and oil. Unlike other cleansers they  remain on the skin and are  not rinsed off with water.  Micellar cleansers  are very proud  of the fact that they  are soap and detergent free, but that claim … Continue Reading…

Can Cornflower Soothe my Sensitive Skin?

CornflowerQuestion:  I have sensitive skin.  This holiday, a friend gave me  some products with cornflower, saying it was  helpful for my skin problems. I am so touched by her gift, but I am frankly scared to try anything new.  Should I go ahead  and  use  them?

Answer:  While I  don’t  know  which products were in your gift basket, I can tell you there is good science behind  cornflower  skin care benefits.  A common wildflower in Europe, cornflower is known to have strong  anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.  These blue beauties are packed with Vitamin C, biotin, folic acid and mineral salts.  But wait, there’s more.  Cornflowers contain  anthrocyanins and flavinoids, two super powerful antioxidants.

Cornflower teas and extracts have been used successfully to care for skin ulcers, nail infections, eczema and dandruff.  It is especially  gentle around the … 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…

Question: How Can Good Products Produce Bad Results?

Question on PeelsQuestion:   I’ve been using  a 1% retinol serum, 15% vitamin C serum for my face and another 5% vitamin c serum for my eyes for two weeks and now my skin  is a mess!  It’s red, peeling, super dry and  wrinkled.  It even hurts   when I wash my face and put on sunscreen.   I’m so scared and don’t know what to do.

Answer:   These are  strong and genuinely  effective  formulations, but you overdid it a bit.  According to the wizard of Park Avenue, Dr Albert Lefkovits, stop using all  current products.  He recommends soothing the skin  with a milk compress.  Soak a  man’s hankerchief  in a mixture of   1/4 cup milk and 1/4 room temperature  cup water, wring it out  a bit and apply it to  face and neck.  Wash your face with a  super gentle cleanser like Cetaphil … Continue Reading…

If sunscreens are so good, why do they make my skin breakout?

Question and Answer logoQuestion:  Sunscreens are always the last  step of your  treatment plans.  I hear what you are saying, but sunscreens  make  my skin breakout– and I’m 34!  And if I spend  time in the sun, my  skin  actually clears up and looks geat.   Could I be allergic  to sunscreens?

Answer:  I hear you too!.  For years  I found that sunscreens didn’t  so much  prevent  a sunburn as they triggered  more breakouts.  Turned out that many sunscreens  contain ingredients that provoke acne.  Most contain oils, waxes,  and polymers that clog pores.  Others have chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone and homosalate that are irritants– and over  age 30 acne is often provoked by inflammation rather than excess oils.  To get the benefits of a sunscreen without  problems,  look  for oil free  physical sunscreens  formulated with zinc oxide or titanium oxide.  Mineal based  powdered … Continue Reading…