Acne, also referred to as that one skin condition that almost everyone has to deal with
. Acne is one super common, and often persistent skin condition. Often acne is associated with the time period of puberty, but it is also a common concern for adults. Just when you think you’re on top of your breakouts, another sneaky pimple emerges. Why is that?
There are a variety of factors that contribute and exacerbate acne. Our failure to manage or address these underlying issues is one of the reasons acne is so relentless.
Below are 6 clues to what may be worsening your acne, as discussed in an interview we conducted with Prudvi Mohan Kaka, Chief Scientific Officer of DECIEM.
Yes, stress contributes to acne. Stress, particularly mental stress, often results in the increased production of a hormone called androgen. The androgen hormone increases the production of sebum. In turn, excess sebum clogs the follicle, creating an ideal environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive. If you think stress is contributing to your acne, read a recent article we wrote on effective stress management strategy. (Link to: Blog from 16th September: Can meditation assist healing https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yYQVAWKNt5kU6Ow2KaH4gBUkbpZdyU3_/view?usp=sharing)
Medications such as antidepressants have a tendency to increase acne breakouts. Prudvi explained that drugs such as lithium or amoxapine could trigger breakout. He recommends speaking to your healthcare provider if your acne appears to be triggered by your medications.
- Genetic predisposition
Some people with acne have a genetic predisposition. While there isn’t a lot we can do about changing our genes, it may be interesting to ask your parents if they experienced acne as a young adult. If that’s the case, speak to your physician on management strategies.
- Excessive exfoliation and face washing
Washing and exfoliating excessively is a common behaviour of those with acne. This logic is often due to the misconception that acne is caused by poor hygiene. If anything over cleansing and exfoliating worsens acne as it causes drying and irritation to the skin, this in turn causes inflammation, impairs the skin barrier and increases sebum production. And so the cycle continues. A clue to whether your cleanser is drying out your skin is, does your skin feel tight after cleansing? If so, it is likely stripping away your skin’s vital lipids. Exfoliation is effective at removing skin cells before they can clog the follicle, choose a chemical exfoliant such as a papain enzyme or Beta Hydroxy Acid such as salicylic over a physical granular exfoliant.
- Sun exposure
Some people deliberately expose themselves to the sun because they believe it can help cure acne. This belief is not only incorrect but dangerous as it increases your risk of skin cancer. Excessive sun exposure causes inflammation, adding inflammation to an already impaired skin impairs healing and may even lead to worsening of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
We recognise, of course, incidental sun exposure is inevitable and that’s okay. Just don’t make it a part of an acne treatment regime. It doesn’t work.
- Popping and squeezing
Almost everyone is guilty of this. Tampering with, touching, and squeezing the acne lesions every chance you get is not the best action for your skin. Apart from prolonging the healing time of the acne, it leads to scarring and spreading of bacteria across your skin.
To treat your acne, you need to ascertain its root cause. One way you can find this out is by consulting with a qualified clinician. Also, observe your actions or habits and how they affect the acne by keeping a journal where you document all your observations.
DHC are incredibly excited to announce our newest partnership with Australian skincare brand Dermalist, who have been making waves in the cosmeceutical skincare market since launching their truly revolutionary range of results-driven multi-functional products in October 2019.
Promising to deliver dramatic results for all skin concerns in just 2 steps daily across 28 days, each product has been specifically designed in consultation with some of Australia’s leading cosmeceutical formulators, doctors & dermal clinicians to target skin concerns across multiple pathways at once and to deliver several skin benefits simultaneously with the ultimate goal of reducing the time, complexity and number of products required for clients to achieve and maintain beautiful skin at home.
Their ethical range stands conscientiously apart in the cosmeceutical world by housing meticulously sourced active ingredients that are not only good for your skin, for your health but also for the world around us. To this end, their formulations are made in Australia using only the highest quality ingredients, ethically sourced through the supply chain and are free from over 50 harsh chemicals and preservatives that are known or are suspected to cause irritation or inflammation including formaldehyde and endocrine disruptors as well as being proudly vegan, cruelty-free and made from 100% recyclable packaging.
Our favourite clean active from within their range is the Quandong Extract which is an Australian high strength essential fatty acid & phenolic acid. This super extract enhances barrier functions, is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. When you think of this active, think of soft, smooth healthy skin.
Our HERO product in their range is their AllSerum Skin Perfector which, true to their mission of simplifying skincare, incorporates all the skin-perfecting, melanin reducing, hydrating and anti-ageing actives into one simple step. As a powerful cosmeceutical formulation that treats protects and perfects skin from the inside and out, we liken AllSerum to joining the gym, doing a 30-minute spin class every day of the week and drinking kale smoothies for breakfast for your skin.
But how does the science work? How does it create youthful, clear & healthy skin?
Well, first it treats skin discolourations.
By utilising melanin reducing actives, such as Vitamin C, Caregen TGP2 & Telangyn this serum reduces tyrosinase activity within the skin. Tyrosinase is the crucial enzyme for synthesizing melanin within the skin. Melanin, which is more commonly known as the pigment can appear as dark, discoloured patches on your skin. It can be caused by trauma to the skin, whether that is trauma caused by sun exposure or trauma caused by a physical injury to the skin. It can also appear due to hormonal influences or using incorrect skincare. By using these melanin reducing actives, the skin becomes clearer & more even in appearance.
This serum then calms the skin and prevents ageing.
A combination of Vitamin B5, Niacinamide, AHAs, Neurophroline and Squalane treat skin inflammation & ward off our skin’s ageing nemesis, oxidative stress. If your skin is suffering oxidative stress, you may find it begins to show signs of fine lines & wrinkles. AllSerum reduces oxidative stress at a cellular level by increasing the levels of glutathione & ATP, inhibiting melanin production & increasing skin elasticity. Clinically proven active Neurophroline contained at its therapeutic dose moderates cortisol production and activates the release of a natural calming neuropeptide to visibly improve skin redness and inflammation.
Then this serum locks in all this goodness with Hyaluronic Acid & Squalene. Hyaluronic Acid is a well-known hydrator but scientifically it’s known as a humectant, it draws moisture to the skin. Squalane on the other hand is poly-unsaturated hydrocarbon liquid. Unlike Hyaluronic Acid, Squalane acts as a second skin barrier, locking all the actives in. As the icing on the cake, these actives are also naturally occurring in the skin.
Not only have the Dermalist been able to achieve this incredible AllSerum which is part of their simple three-step regime, but they have also made it affordable, beautiful & recyclable.
DHC is committed to serving the skin and with that, using sustainable skincare which is locally sourced and strengthening! Welcome to the DHC family Dermalist.
Some skin conditions come and go, some itch, some sting and others simply change the way the skin looks.
Our skin is perhaps the most noticeable organ of our body. Vitiligo is a skin condition whereby the pigment cells attack themselves, leading to the destruction of melanocyte and depigmentation of the skin and hair. While those with vitiligo may experience challenges to feel confident within their skin, the difficulty does not mean impossible.
We interviewed actor and singer Lauren Jimmieson of the Jimmie Journal and asked her to share her story about living with vitiligo, embracing her skin and 5 things about vitiligo that may not be commonly known.
- Vitiligo requires a medical diagnosis
Vitiligo is a disorder that causes the skin to become depigmented. Signs of this condition include white macules and patches on various parts of the body. Thankfully, it doesn’t come with any pain or itchiness.
That said, assuming that you have Vitiligo just because you have white patches on your body can be dangerous. There are a number of other skin conditions like chemical leukoderma, tinea versicolor, and pityriasis alba, that are similar to Vitiligo. It is important to have a conclusive diagnosis of Vitiligo, after which you can undergo appropriate treatment and management strategies.
- Vitiligo is not contagious
If someone is not familiar with Vitiligo they may misconceive that Vitiligo can spread by contact. No, Vitiligo is not contagious at all.
- Vitiligo treatments vary depending on the stage
Vitiligo has no known cure. Notwithstanding, being diagnosed very early and commencing treatment may help your skin repigment. How you will be treated will depend on factors such as age, how much of your skin is affected, how quickly it is spreading, and various other things. Lauren advises that by sticking with the treatment procedures, just like she did, will give your skin the best chance of repigmenting.
- There are lots of camouflage products on the market
If you wish to cover your Vitiligo, there are a number of products out there that you can use. These products range from camouflage creams applied like makeup to products that are sprayed on affected areas with an airbrush.
“In my early days of developing Vitiligo I used Dermablend, which is brand that still exists till today…it is incredibly long-lasting and incredibly thick compared to your typical liquid foundation…my preference was the liquid because it gave me the flexibility to kind of give thicker layers to the areas that were whiter and thinner layers to the areas that still have my original pigment,” Says Lauren.
- Accepting your Vitiligo can go a long way
When asked what advice Lauren shares with others with Vitiligo she says “to find peace with it and to not fight it; to just embrace it…otherwise you put yourself through a lot”in addition to this, Lauren believes that finding a support group, usually people who can relate with your condition, will go a long way.
The next time you look in the mirror, embrace your Vitiligo, and live life with your head held high.
For many cancers the exact cause remains a mystery.. But not skin cancer. We know that UV rays are the primary causative agents behind skin cancers, wrinkles, sunburn, premature ageing, and a host of other skin-health related conditions.
Statistically, about 95% of skin cancers are totally preventable. Nonetheless, there’s an increasing prevalence of skin cancer in Australia (and even globally) today.
When we know better we do better, that’s exactly why we asked Sam Sheehan of Suncayr about UV rays and how we can better protect our skin.
Sam Sheehan is the Managing Director of Suncayr Australia– a company dedicated to giving “you the UV awareness that you need to safely enjoy every day you spend outside.” Here, are snippets of wisdom he shared in his interview with us… including how Suncayr is helping to simplify sun safety.
- What is UV
UV rays or Ultraviolet rays are the radiation from the sun. Sam said, “exposure or overexposure to UV radiation is a major risk factor for nearly all skin cancers”. Unfortunately, UV rays are inescapable. Since they penetrate windows, you’d have to be indoors, in a windowless room, 24/7 to completely avoid them. This, of course, isn’t feasible.
There are three types of UV;
- UVA rays. Termed “ageing rays” these are the rays that cause long-term skin damage by breaking down collagen fibres and lead to premature ageing.
- UVB rays. Also known as “burning rays”, these rays are the culprit of sunburn and are the main cause of most forms of skin cancer. The strength of UVB rays varies at different times throughout the year.
- UVC rays. These are the most harmful of all 3 forms of UV rays. Thanks to Earth’s ozone layer, they don’t reach us. And that, dear earthling, is why we need to protect our ozone!
- How sunscreens work
Sunscreens protect us from the damaging effects of the sun. Although they’ve been so-called a second line of defence, they remain a critically important line of defence. Sunscreens are chemically composed of organic compounds and inorganic compounds as two of its main base ingredients.
The inorganic compounds— typically Zinc oxide or Titanium oxide, reflect UV rays away from the body. On the other hand, the organic compounds— usually avobenzone or oxybenzone— absorbs the UV rays by bonding chemically with UV rays. Consequently, the intermolecular attraction in the sunscreen is broken down. This is why skin specialists advise that you reapply sunscreen frequently—depending upon the activity being carried out and the length of your exposure to the sun.
- No sunscreen can protect from 100% of UV rays
It’s important to keep in mind that sunscreens aren’t foolproof. According to the Mayo Clinic, there isn’t one sunscreen that blocks 100% of UV rays. So our concept of UV protection must go beyond applying sunscreen. Staying in the shade, wearing hats, sunglasses, and clothing that fully cover our skin—all of these acts make us less vulnerable.
- The right amount of sunscreen, not just sunscreen, is essential for adequate protection.
Have you ever used sunscreen and still become sunburnt? It has happened to many of us and it’s likely that our sun protection was not adequate and that sunscreen was not used properly. “…there’s a lot of clinical data out there in studies that show an average consumers use an average of 25% of what they should actually be using to attain the SPF cover that’s advertised on the bottle”, says Sam.
Sunscreen does work! You’ve just got to apply (and reapply, when necessary) sufficient amounts of it. So how much do we need? Approximately 6 teaspoons for adequate coverage! In all, keep this in mind; “you’re better off using an SPF 15 properly, than using a quarter of what you would with an SPF 50”, Sam said.
- SPOTMYUVTM is helping eliminate guesswork of applying & reapplying sunscreen
SPOTMYUVTM is a novel UV detection sticker by Suncayr. Upon absorbing UV, sunscreen wears away until it’s no longer effective at protecting your skin against harmful UVs, which is why reapplication is so important. The challenge is you’ll never really know when your sunscreen is still working due to the many variables such as sweat, friction of clothes and degradation of active ingredients.
Thanks to SPOTMYUVTM, you can know just the time to reapply sunscreen! SPOTMYUVTM is an indicating sticker that reminds you when it’s time to reapply UV protection.
The small round sticker starts purple coloured. After you’ve stuck it to an area of your body that is exposed to the sun and you’ve applied sunscreen, it turns clear, indicating that you’re protected. As the sunscreen wears, it shows varying shades of purple again, telling you “it’s sunscreen reapplication time!” They’re perfect for kids and they are even water-resistant. You can learn more about how it works here.With deliberateness and helpful innovative products like SPOTMYUVTM, we can get the sun protection that we really need, bring skin cancer cases to the barest minimum and liver healthier, fuller, and richer lives. Let’s do that! (winks)
When meditation comes to mind, do you associate it with improved healing? In an interview on how mindfulness practices support healing, we interviewed life coach and meditation teacher Peter Radcliffe of Skillful MIND. After debunking what he believes to be the biggest misconception surrounding meditation, Peter reveals how meditation affects healing and explains 3 sure ways to meditate effectively, which may even assist with better healing outcomes.
What is meditation and how does it support healing?
Peter summarizes the definition of Meditation as “Practicing being here in the here and now, in that awareness mind”. Stress is one of the major adversaries of healing. If you’re able to bring your mind to a state of calmness despite your condition, you’ll fast track your healing.
Not only can reducing stress with meditation and mindfulness have a positive effect on healing outcomes, it can also improve state of mind.
Meditation is about “changing the way you look at the world” says Peter. And depending on your condition, if you can reorientate your mind to see whatever condition you have as neither good nor bad, you’ll start to heal emotionally too.
One big misconception that people have about meditation is that it is synonymous to relaxation. However, contrary to popular belief, one thing meditation is not, is a long, boring exercise that people perform whenever they wish to relax.
“Because people associate meditation with relaxation, they tend to consider meditation as sort of going into this semi-sleep kind of relaxed state when, in fact, what it is is you are completely alert,” says Peter. He adds that “The aim of meditation is not so much relaxation but calmness”. Meditation will help your mind remain calm even in stressful situations.
Meditation and mindfulness: what’s the difference?
The terms meditation and mindfulness are often used interchangeably. Are they really the same? These two activities do have many things in common and are used in similar contexts. Notwithstanding, the two terms do not exactly mean the same thing. So, what sets them apart?
Let’s hear it from the expert himself; “mindfulness is a quality of mind, and in particular, it’s an introspective awareness of what’s going on— I guess in the five senses around you— but in particular, in your thoughts…meditation is the act or the practice of empowering that mindfulness…So, mindfulness is a quality whereas meditation is the practice to get that quality”
3 Tips for effective meditation
- Soft approach
Especially for people just starting out, meditation can feel boring. When this happens, you start seeing the practice more as a chore and less of an experience, which may mean you do not continue the practice. This is why you don’t have to go all-in right away. Start with the basics. Peter suggests 15 minutes every day, preferable every morning. This is because once you introduce a routine, you’re more likely to stick to it.
- Make it fun
According to Peter “If you force yourself to meditate, you’ll develop an aversion for it”. So how do you avoid forcing yourself to meditate but still mediate? Simple. You make yourself love and enjoy it! You can achieve this by using sounds, such as nature music, or meditation in different scenarios such as a soft lawn.
- Join a meditation group
Irrespective of where you are at on your meditation journey, joining a meditation group can benefit you immensely. It allows you to become accountable since there’ll be others there to help track your progress. Also, making meditation a social practice may even lead to new friends.
For all the benefits meditation has to offer everyone should be giving it a go. If you’re not exactly sure how to begin, follow the tips here and start small or join a group. You’ll get the hang of it eventually and in no time, experience the healing power of meditation.
Ready to get started on meditation? Here’s a bonus Meditation Audio Course from SkillfulMind to help kick things off. (you’re welcome!)