Friday, December 8, 2006

Mandelic acid is amazing against blackheads ..., Exfoliates and tightens pores; antibacterial; anti-inflammatory

After 4 months on retinoids (Green Cream, Diacneal, Retin A), I have managed to get rid of all of my old bumps and inflamed acne ... but the pores in my T-zone were still getting badly congested every couple of weeks, resulting in blackheads and microzits. Since I'm a habitual picker, and my skin is currently very fragile from the retinoids, these clogged pores were creating a real problem for me.

As soon as I started reading about mandelic acid, I knew I had to try it. The trouble was, the first MA product I tried really does not work well with Green Cream -- and I LOVE Green Cream and will not give it up! I could see that the MA was zapping the blackheads and tightening my pores, but unfortunately it was also burning my skin -- which is not supposed to happen. Mandelic is a very mild AHA.

Anyway, I finally found a new MA product that I can use with retinoids, and I am just loving it. My pores are tighter and clearer than I ever thought possible and my blackheads are almost entirely extinct.

So here are my product recommendations:

If you have oily skin and are NOT using retinoids, you should be able to use the Vivant mandelic acid serum sold on the Diana Yvonne site. I suggest buying a sample first to try it out. This is probably the purest, most powerful and effective mandelic product out there.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, are using retinoids or other anti-acne products, or just find that you can't tolerate the Vivant mandelic, you are probably better off going with the alcohol-free mandelic acid serum made and sold by Garden of Wisdom. They make a 10% version and a 15% version. Sample sizes are available. I use the 10% if I'm layering it under retinoids and 15% if I'm using it by itself.

Mandelic acid needs about 30 minutes to absorb into the skin and "do its thing" -- so you should apply it to clean dry skin, and not apply anything else for at least 30 minutes.

A little more info about mandelic acid: here's a quote from Deb, the Forum Host at the Diana Yvonne SkinCare Board:

It works in the same manner as salicylic acid, except it cannot penetrate as deep into the pore as salicylic acid. Thus, it increases cell turnover within the pore, causing the release of comedones. As soon as you stop using it faithfully, just like salicylic acid, back they come!

I think the reason people rave about mandelic acid is that it is an AHA with some BHA properties. As well as being antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and lipid permeable (thus the pore exfoliation), it is a gentle 15% AHA at a low pH. AHAs exfoliate the epidermis much better than with salicylic acid, which cannot penetrate very deeply into the epidermal layers. So, the skin is smoother, tighter and more even in tone. Thus, the AHA activity combined with the lipid permeability aids in the appearance of smaller pores.

By LionQueen

Acne and how to cover them for Men (and women too)

Men have hard time thinking about makeup, but one thing we need to keep in mind is the flawless application is what you need. You cannot achieve that with using color that does not match your skintone. Sometimes women also make mistake by selecting wrong shade concealer or foundation, which just make your acne scare more prominent. Let me make it clear one more time if you want to use cosmetic to cover or hide your scar, you have to have the exact match color.

Here are some cosmetic brands. for men (just to show you that guys also have their makeup too) oh well....if women want to use them, why not.
I don't have anything to do with any of these companies at all, just want to help you understand a little bit more about how to cover up your acne scars. That's all.

The first two are corrective makeup. They are created for people with problematic skin who need some coverage. These first two are for both male and female.

1) Exuviance by Neostrata

1.1 Coverblend Multi-Function Concealer SPF 15 has 4 color choices.
Where to get them:
1.2 CoverBlend Treatment spf 20 This is from the same company but this one has 14 different colors.
Where to get them:

2) Dermablend
Where to get them:
This brand create makeup for people with severe scar and people with medical condition. I used this cover cream long time ago. It requires some practice but look really good if you apply them correctly.

Now....product specifically designed just for men

1) Menaji
has 4 colors for you
•Where to buy:

2) Male species

it is so obvious, isn't it. This is definately for men ONLY. biggrin.gif
•Where to buy: posted image

3) Studio5ive

•Where to buy these two products:
3.1 Duo concealer & foundation stix
The first one is for people with minimal scars and need just light coverage.
3.2 Day cream concealer
Second one is for people who need a bit more coverage.

By Sparty

Acne related to diet? or maybe not?

Some dermetologists I've visited say acne is related to diet, others claim that there is no connection whatsoever. A good amount of people on the boards, claim diet is the main factor involved, whereas an equal amount of people claim the opposite, maintaining that diet and acne are unrelated. Since I am unqualified to say, I have no idea who is right. I just wanted to start this thread to get a conclusive answer on whether their related or not, once and for all.

Some members point out that people in third world countries tend to have no acne whatsoever, even though they live in dirt and grime, without any acne products whatsoever. The idea is that the American/european/canadian & australian people have dietary tendancies which encourage acne, like high-meat diets, fast food, and sugar.

It would seem to me, that a few scientific tests could determine beyond the shadow of a doubt, how acne and diet are related if at all. Why is this issue still contraversial, it shouldn't be!

By Ephemeral

Wednesday, December 6, 2006


smile.gif An EASY, TASTY way to eat your greens! smile.gif
"Leafy greens combined with fruit might become your new best friends!"

Dr. Joel Fuhrman ( & a doctor for Discovery Health Channel,
is a big promoter of green smoothies, stating they are nutritional power houses, and he advises lots of leafy greens for those prone to acne!

smile.gif What are Green Smoothies and Why are They Fabulous?
After consuming "leafy greens" on a daily basis for 6 weeks, by making quick and easy "green smoothies," I noticed a huge difference in my skin. My skin doesn't break out like it used to, and it now has a healthy glow. Green smoothies are leafy greens mixed with fruit smoothies, and the great part is that because you’ll be mixing the greens with fruit, you’ll only taste the fruit! This is one of the quickest, easiest, tastiest, most nutritious ways out there to get in your daily leafy greens.

smile.gif Why Do Them:
If you’re suffering with acne, there’s a very good chance that the smoothies will greatly help (I believe this may be due to the high content of vitamin A, which is non-toxic and safe when you obtain it from food). They’ll make your skin look healthy, you’ll be getting tons of nutrition (blended greens give you 4 X the amount of nutrition compared to eating them, because the blender is able to more thoroughly break down all the cellular walls in order to release nutrients. So, drinking 1 cup of blended greens is like eating “FOUR” cups of greens!!), you may notice your appetite going down (because your body will be getting so much nutrition, it may stop craving other foods), you may find that you feel calmer and happier (greens are great for this), and a host of many more health benefits! For acne sufferers, to jumpstart the benefits, I recommend doing 6 – 8 cups a day for the first month and then going down to 4 cups (2 pints) a day for maintenance.

smile.gif What You Will Need:
A blender - preferably a high-powered one, fruit, frozen fruit Optional (Frozen fruit is great for a flavor kick - especially frozen pineapple, and often, you can find certain frozen fruits, like strawberries, rapsberries, etc., cheaper than fresh. Whole Foods has a wonderful selection), leafy greens (For simplicity, I recommend getting a couple bags or containers of pre-washed lettuce. Baby romaine, baby spring mix, and baby spinach are all mild in flavor and great to start with.), flavoring Optional (cinnamon, honey, blueberry concentrate, etc), and water.

If you don’t like the noise of your blender (or if it’s over 90 decibels), you can use earplugs, ear protection from Hope Depot, or just figure out some way to cover your ears. smile.gif We DO want to protect our hearing! You can disguise the green color of your smoothies by using dark colored fruits like blueberries, raspberries, etc.

smile.gif How To Make the Smoothies (takes only 10 minutes TOTAL!):
If you’re making them every other day (which is what I recommend for simplicity), follow below:
Cut 2 pieces of fruit (apples, pears, bananas, plums, etc) into 8ths
Throw in 2 large handfuls of greens
Add about 1 cup of frozen fruit Optional (tropical fruit mix, pineapples, mangoes, raspberries, etc.) Whole Foods has a great selection.
About 4 cups of water (Be sure to add enough so it’s drinkable).
Add flavorings Optional (Cinnamon, honey, etc.)
Blend ingredients
• Pour smoothie mixture into 2 tall glasses (not plastic!), cover with a saucer, and store in the refrigerator to drink the next day (lasts up to 24hrs).
• Pour the rest into glasses, rinse out the blender with water and let it air dry.
• You’re done! Enjoy your smoothie. eusa_dance.gif

** Be sure to eat a variety of greens!! This is very important, because not all greens are alike, and they must be balanced! Also, some of you were getting confused about leafy greens being vegetables, like broccoli. Basically, if it's not a leaf, then it's not a leafy green. smile.gif

** For more information, search "green smoothies," or, click here: Most Popular Green Smoothie Questions Answered by Victoria Boutenko

By Independent Thinker

Get rid of your bacne using Head & Shoulders!

Active Bacne

1. Wash back and shoulders in the shower with H&S by hand. Be gentle.

2. Rinse off completley. Do your normal shower routine elsewhere on your body.

3. Just before you get out of the shower, wash your back and shoulders again with H&S by hand, but this time DO NOT rinse off. Just pat the back and shoulders with your towel. The point of this is to leave a film of H&S on your skin throughout the day so that the Zinc can do its stuff.

4. Do not dry your back and shoulders with a towel totally. Let them air dry. The water will dry off and the H&S will be left behind, making your skin feel a little tight. This is ok.

When the Active Bacne has calmed down

1. Same as above, but instead of washing by hand (step 1), use a back brush. Im from the UK and have bought a very good one from Muji for about £7. Its not too soft or hard. Spend a little time brushing around your shoulders and back with this in the shower. I normally apply the H&S by hand and spread around to lather it up a little. Then I use the brush.

2, 3, 4. As above.

By uksnowboarder

Vinegar is a frugal and healthy alternative

Apple cider vinegar should be used for anything personal, both inside and outside the body. Do not use white distilled vinegar as it can rob your body of essential minerals.
  1. Used as a hair rinse, vinegar neutralizes alkali left by shampoos.
    A reader says 'it will give your hair an all out shine!'
  2. Corn and callus remover - soak stale bread (a cloth would probably do as well) in vinegar, and tape over the callus or corn overnight.
  3. Age spot fader - Mix equal parts of onion juice and vinegar and use it daily on age spots. It will take a few weeks to work, just like its expensive relative from the store.
  4. Spray your hands with vinegar, or dip them in it and dry after having them in soapy water to keep your hands soft.
  5. Splash vinegar on your varicose veins. The vinegar is supposed to reduce the veins and relieve the pain and swelling.
  6. Use it diluted 50/50 as a skin cleanser as most soaps are alkaline.
  7. A teaspoon to a tablespoon of vinegar gets rid of hiccups.
  8. It's an ongoing battle as to whether vinegar can help you lose weight, but the ones who say it will, say to drink a glass of water before each meal in which you've added a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of honey.
  9. Rinse water for face - pour 1/8 cup in rinse water, rinse face and let it air dry (it seals the moisture in the skin)
  10. Try white vinegar on underarms and other areas of the body as a natural deodorant. Will not stop perspiration (which is not healthy anyway) but will neutralize odor.
  11. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a quart of drinking water to deal with heat stress and repel mosquitos.
  12. When children get lice, put warm vinegar on the hair, dip a nit comb in vinegar to help remove nits. It is supposed to be able to break down the glue the nits use to stay attached.
  13. My dad is 77 years old and his skin on his face is so smooth and soft looking. His secret is he uses vinegar for aftershave. If he gets any rashes or pimples he uses vinegar for that as well. He drinks apple cider vinegar, honey and hot water every morning. The vinegar odor goes away very quickly when he uses it for aftershave. He started this when he always broke out in a rash after using regular aftershaves.
  14. 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in a small tub of water. Soak your head/hair to get rid of dandruff as well as all the garbage that accumulates on your hair from shampoos and conditioners. It's absolutely amazing.
  15. For cleaning dentures - leave your dentures in vinegar for as long as you would leave them in a denture cleanser - about 15 minutes to half an hour or longer, if you wish. Then brush them thoroughly. Your dentures will be cleaner and whiter than a proprietary dental cleaner can do it!
  16. Makes a great eyeglass cleaner. Mix white vinegar 1/2 and 1/2 with water. I keep a tiny spray bottle in my purse.
  17. I mix my own facial toner using 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar and a few aspirin. The acid in the vinegar forces old skin cells to flake off much like the store-bought alpha hydroxy products. Aspirin is my own anti-acne solution. A lot of acne products use salicylic acid, which is basically aspirin with a few differences. The aspirin won't dissolve completely, but it doesn't seem to matter. This works especially well against those deep acne spots older people often get. I've been using this twice a day for five years and people are amazed when I tell them my real age (44). One caution: Also use a face lotion with at least SPF 15 everyday- even in winter (Oil of Olay knockoffs are fairly cheap)- because the mixture will make your skin thinner just like the expensive store-bought ones will, and more susceptible to sun damage.
Apple cider vinegar restores the natural acid balance of human and animal skin and hair (fur, too) after washing with soaps of any kind, which are by nature, alkaline. That means it helps fight various skin disorders, heal chapped and dry skin and soften hair. It also fights against fungus and bacterial and viral infections - another plus in the care of skin. But wait - vinegar isn't through yet. It soothes burns and itches, safely disinfects dentures, and gently fades freckles and 'age spots' over a period of time. Wow. What else could you ask for in a golden liquid? Low price? You got it.

At a little over two dollars a gallon, it's frugal; it's cheap; it's a penny pincher's dream come true. Consider the cost of what it can replace:
  1. Meat tenderizer
  2. Hair conditioner
  3. Acne medication
  4. Denture tablets
  5. Hand lotion
  6. Potassium supplement
  7. Sunburn remedy
And these are just a few uses!

By SmashingPumpkins

Making the Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

1. 50/50 ACV + Water in an old Astringent bottle, Shot glass or Spray bottle.

2. Optional* Can add a few aspirin in the Toner or make a toner with asprin in it separately. This asprin is essentially nothing but Salicylic Acid which is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (exfoliates skin), SA also dries up acne and can penetrate deeper into the pores unblocking clogged pores.

3. Use a cotton pad, cotton ball, or spray bottle to apply ACV Toner.

4. I still occasionally break out usually hormones so I currently use Tea Tree Oil, it is a wonderful product and will not stop the healing process or slow it down. This is why I have chosen it over BP, and it does not dry your skin out or have any of the negative effects BP has. I apply TTO diluted with water, usually between 10 - 15 drops in a shot glass filled less then half way with water. I wait until my face is completely dry, then apply ACV wait until it is dry, Moisturize and I am done.
(for BP users)
After shower (or anytime day or night) apply the ACV Toner and wait until it is completely dried on your face apply BP and wait 15min. Now seeing as ACV neutralizes your skin and balances our pH levels you may not even need a moistuizer because if you have Oily skin ACV will make it not oily and if you have dry skin it will heal it making everything even. If your skin still feels tight after using BP definitely moisturize!

5. Sometimes I use ACV full strength it all depends on how my skin is feeling .. somedays it can handle it. There is nothing wrong with using full strength.. you just have to know your own skin. If you have sensitive skin I sugget sticking with the 50/50 solution, and if it is tougher than applying the ACV without water every now and then is okay too.

By SmashingPumpkins

Licorice and testosterone

Steroids 2004 Oct-Nov;69(11-12):763-6Â Â (ISSN: 0039-128X)
Armanini D; Mattarello MJ; Fiore C; Bonanni G; Scaroni C; Sartorato P; Palermo M
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences-Endocrinology, University of Padua, Via Ospedale 105, 35100 Padua, Italy.

Licorice has been considered a medicinal plant for thousands of years. The most common side effect is hypokalemic hypertension, which is secondary to a block of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 at the level of the kidney, leading to an enhanced mineralocorticoid effect of cortisol. We have investigated the effect of licorice on androgen metabolism in nine healthy women 22-26 years old, in the luteal phase of the cycle. They were given 3.5 g of a commercial preparation of licorice (containing 7.6% W.W. of ) daily for two cycles. They were not on any other treatment. Plasma renin activity, serum adrenal and gonadal androgens, aldosterone, and cortisol were measured by radioimmunoassay. Total serum testosterone decreased from 27.8+/-8.2 to 19.0+/-9.4 in the first month and to 17.5+/-6.4 ng/dL in the second month of therapy (p <0.05). It returned to pre-treatment levels after discontinuation. Androstenedione, 17OH-progesterone, and LH levels did not change significantly during treatment. Plasma renin activity and aldosterone were depressed during therapy, while blood pressure and cortisol remained unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: Licorice can reduce serum testosterone probably due to the block of 17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17-20 lyase. Licorice could be considered an adjuvant therapy of hirsutism and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Sebum has no function for skin, 8-year old boys have no sebum

Assuming that sebum is beneficial to the skin, cosmetic chemists have duplicated this substance. Unfortunately, however, we know of no benefits to be derived from sebum. This oil is simply a vestige whose function has been lost in the process of evolution. The last known use of sebum was a territorial make for male gerbils and hamsters.

The claim that sebum is necessary for moisturizing the skin is a little bit absurd when you consider that the finest skin is found in eight-year-old boys and eunuchs, neither of whom have any sebum.

Sebum does not even prevent wrinkles. Wrinkling, or aging of the skin, is a reflection of accumulated sun damage, and no moisturizer in the world is capable of reversing this exhaustion of tissues. Although functionless, sebum is complex, composed of six or seven principle ingredients, including triglycerides and squalene, a precursor of cholesterol. The triglycerides are broken down on the surface of the skin by bacteria to free fatty acids, which cause acne impactions in genetically predisposed families.

By Green_Vegetable_Man

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Dan's Acne Regimen

Here is a nice regimen by Dan to kill acne:

#Supplies you need: cleanser/2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel or cream / moisturizer / razors (men)

1) Wash your face and any other problem areas gently with bare hands. This will take few seconds.
2) Men: shave.
3) Pat dry with a towel.
4) Wait 5-15 minutes.
6) Wash your hands.
7) Squeeze out a GENEROUS portion of benzoyl peroxide (BP) and apply it to your face gently. Do not skimp.
8) Wait 5-15 minutes.
9) Apply moisturizer.

Note: do this in the morning and evening.