Free! No-Nonsense Acne Guide by Deborah Chase

acne questionsWhen I first started No-Nonsense  Beauty Blog, I thought I would focus on anti-aging  issues such as  lines,  wrinkles and  age spots.  As  it turned out  my readers  sent in the most amazing questions from  a wide range of   beauty issues including sunscreens for sensitive skin,  best options for “age spots”, the differences between  Marula oil and  Argan oil and  which body shaping device   is  best  for saggy upper arms.  And the #1  topic?  The causes  and  treatment of acne.

Over the past four years it  has been  fascinating and  fulfilling to search out the most  up to date   answers  to a problem that affects  most people at some  point in their lives. Now I have  compiled  all this basic info in a  five page guide to acne care. You can download this guide for free Continue Reading…

Can I Use Shea Butter with Retin A? by Deb Chase

Question and answer logoQuestion– I am   a twenty year old African Americn woman with very sensitive skin.   I have hormonal acne and  I am hoping that Retin A will stop the breakouts.   However I’m breaking out more and my skin is very dry, flaky and sore.  I’ve been using shea butter over  Retin A at night.  In the morning I use   Neutrogena sunscreen.  Any  help would be appreciated.

Answer– Dryness is part of Retin A treatment and the flaking is a sign that the skin is getting rid of  dead skin that is blocking the pores.  However I am concerned with the  sense of  irritation you are experiencing.  Retin A needs to be used very very carefully  with skin of color.  The inflammtion from Retin A can  unfortunately  trigger hyperpigmentation or darkened areas on  darker skin tones.  To avoid  problems I … Continue Reading…

Help! I’m Peeling From Retin A by Deb Chase

acne questionsQuestion: I followed  your advice and  started using Retin A  for signs of age — and now my skin is peeling.Does  this mean  its not good for my skin and I should stop using it?

Answer: Oh no, don’t give up  just yet!  The peeling you see is the shedding of the top dead layer of skin cells that are clogging the pores and slowing down skin growth.   This is a  major benefit of Retin A and actually a sign that its  doing a good job.  However if the flaking is excessive and unsightly, we need to look at  how you are using Retin A.  Remember you need to avoid other sources of exfoliation including, scrubbing grains, complex brushes, alcohol based toners and all alpha hydroxy products.   You need to use a super … Continue Reading…

Is Retin A Different From a Peel ? By Deb Chase

Question on PeelsQuestion:  I can buy a peel  at my local CVS  drug store but I need a prescription  from a doctor to get Retin A.  They seem to promise the same  results.  How are they diffeent?

Answer:  What an interesting question and a bit  more complicated than it seems.  In general principles, both  Retin A and peels exfoliate the top layer of dead dry skin cells.  This stimulates cell renewal and promotes fresher and smoother skin. The natural life cycle of the skin is designed to shed  this layer of surface  skin.  But factors such as acne, sun damage and aging can inhibit this process.  The result  will be dull rough skin that is troubled with  breakouts, wrinkles and  discoloration.

Exfoliation with peels or Retin A stimulate the growth of healthy collagen, lighten or remove brown patches and help the … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week  our Welcome to Spring  Fashion Flash is hosted  by the one and only Cindy of Prime Beauty.    The end of  a too long  cold winter has inspired our bloggers  to write about  the latest in exercise, health, fashion and beauty including:

*  Aging Backwards  points out common  make-up blunders

* Fab Over Forty  checks out the  newshoe line from  Sex and the City Shoe fanatic Sarsh Jessica Parker

* Moving Free with Mirabai gives great  advice  for  controlling the apple  shape of your body  during menopause.

* Menopause Makeover  explains how exercise lowers risk of breast cancer

* Prime Beauty  explores the benefits of  a good  toner in a skin care regimen

* The Best of Everything After Fifty   offers the best  advice of dating after 50 by one of … Continue Reading…

How Long Can I Use Retin A? by Deb Chaase

Q&A logoQuestion:  I  have been using Retin A for acne.  Whenever I try to stop, my skin starts to break out again.  How long is it safe to use Retin A?

Answer:  Short answer…forever.  Retin A  cream or gel is a powerful and effective medication for both acne and anti-aging, but it is also safe to use for  years.  The skin does not seem to become immune  to its activity and the benefits remain over time.  Studies have shown that patients  who stared using Retin A  for adolescent acne had fewer signs of aging in their forties. ( Yes,  its been around that long).

The Other Forms of Retin A

But this safety  profile is just for the gel or cream form of Retin A.  In the oral form  of Retin A called Isotretinoin ( aka Accutane)  there are strict  time limits.  … Continue Reading…

Cystic Acne–The Acne Bad Boy by Deb Chase

Cystic AcneThere is acne and then there is cystic acne.  Raised, painful and hard to treat, cystic acne  is more common in men than women.   Its not a short term problem, usually starting in the teens and continuing for decades. The differences  between cystic acne starts   blow the surface of the skin.  The oil gland is connected to the hair follicle.( In the diagram  the long structure is the hair follicle and the small  blobs on the side are oil glands). Cystic Acne in hair follicleWhen the small oil gland fills with excess oil and dead skin cells, it forms first a black head and then the classic whitehead on the surface.  If the hair  follicle becomes clogged with  oil and skin cells, the … Continue Reading…

Retin A in the Evening by Deb Chase

Question and Answer logoMaybe I should change the name of  this blog  to Retin A News and Views.  Not really.  Most  of the great questions I get   deal  with different forms  of Retin A (aka tretinoin). This week I received  such a well thought out question I answered her immediately and now I am posting both her question and the answer.

Question:  Do I have to wait until bedtime until I start my Retin A ritual? And if so, why? The last thing I want to do is get up from having fallen asleep on the sofa, and throw water on my face and then wait  30 minues again ( again…why?)

Is the wait to let your skin fully dry?  If so, couldn’t I just dry it with my hair dryer on low? Is it to allow it to calm down?

Am … Continue Reading…