Question and Answer: What’s the Problem with Dimethicone?

Question: I’ve seen ads for make-up that claim its dimethicone free.  What is dimethicone and why should I care if  its in my skin care products?  Can  it damage my  skin or cause environmental  problems?

Answer:  Dimethicone is a type of silicone. It is an especially large molecule that stays on the surface of the skin and  form a protective barrier.  Dimethicone is used in practically every type of toiletry including  moisturizers, sunscreens, eye cream, eye make-up shampoo and  diaper ointment.

The FDA has approved dimethicone  as safe and effective for personal care products.  Dimehticone is not on lists of chemicals which are suspected to cause health problems.  In addition, its not been found in human cells  or urine, indicating that it stays on the skin’s surface. Even the Environmental Working Group (EWG) which finds a problem with practically everything, have … Continue Reading…

Sensitive Skin- Sebhorreic Dermatitis

Unlike rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema, there are no celebrities with seborrheic dermatitis.  There is   no website, no fund raising events , no  online support group for people dealing with  seborrheic derrmatitis.   Yet this  type of sensitive skin affects an estimated 10 million  men and women in the US.

Seborrheic dermatitis, often considered a form of eczema, is a red splotchy rash that pops up the face, hands, scalp and chest.  When it appears along the smile  lines and around the mouth  its also known as perioricular dermatitis.   (That’s  latin for around the mouth).

The red splotches are the end result of a series of events that starts  with over production of  oil in the skin.   This  oil provokes the overgrowth of  a yeast that is actually a natural organism in the skin.   This yeast  produces a toxin and the overgrowth of yeast  produces high … Continue Reading…

Sensitive Skin and Diet

All skin  types need a healthy diet. With sensitive skin that is prone to redness, bumps or itching, food choices can be the  key to clear, smooth skin. Very specific dietary changes can have a big impact– and what is  important here is that each type of sensitive skin has unique dietary needs.

Diet and Rosacea

The triggers for rosacea are many and varied, but four food factors are common for the 16 million people living with problem.  Alcohol, coffee, spicy foods and chocolate are at the top of the list of food factors to avoid to reduce rosacea exacerbations. These are fairly easy to carve away from a standard diet  and  many people  with rosacea can expect  to see some relief.  FYI  decaf coffee and tea seem to be … Continue Reading…

Psoriasis– Sensitive Skin, Part 5

What do Kim Kardashian, Leann Rimes and my neighbor Erica  have in common?  Like almost 8  million Americans they all   have psoriasis.  This  chronic skin condition is caused  by  a dramatically increased speed of  skin cell growth leading  to red splotches coverd with  silvery scales.  Itchy, dry and  painful it usually pops up on the torso, hands, elbows,  and legs.  Unlike eczema, its found on the outside rather than on the underside of  joints.

Like so  many health problems, doctors  don’t  really have a good handle on the causes of psoriasis. It seems to be genetically driven and  about 30%  of people with  psoriasis have at least one family member with the condition.  Psoriasis flare-ups  have been  linked to wheat, stress, weight gain, strep infection cold weather, smoking  and heavy drinking.  Psoriasis can also cause joint  pain and swelling and up to 30% … Continue Reading…

Eczema– Sensitive Skin, Part 4

What do Kate Middleton, Nicole Kidman and Brad  Pitt have in common? 

 In addition to being  gorgeous, they all have  to deal with eczema.  And they  are hardly alone.  It is estimated that  1 in 10 people  have experienced  eczema  at some point  in their lives.

The red, scaly, dry, itchy  patches of eczema  are due to  an immune system gone wild.  While the exact mechanism is  not  completely clear,  eczema seems to  run in families,  especially where there is a history of allergies and/or asthma. Eczema usually appears on the scalp, neck, inside the elbows and behind the knees.   Once there is a tendancy for eczema,  lifestyle factors can trigger an outbreak or  make it worse.  These triggers include stress, excessive heat and cold, detergents, allergies and perhaps diet.   

Treatment of Eczema

Getting eczema under control  starts … Continue Reading…