Keratosis Pilaris – a long name for a very common skin condition. Keratosis Pilaris, or “KP”, is characterized by a rash with hard tiny plugs forming in the hair follicles. These plugs are made of keratin, a protein which is found in the outer layer of the skin. Because the follicles are plugged up, the skin appears raised and bumpy. Many people who suffer from Keratosis Pilaris do not even know what it is or that it can be treated.
There is no cure for Keratosis Pilaris on the market but there are products which effectively treat the symptoms associated with KP to smooth out the skin. AHA’s such as salicylic acid for example, in combination with an intense moisturizer, work very well for those who suffer with this skin condition.
Salicylic acid is classified with a grouping of medicines referred to as “keratolytics”. Salicylic acid can be used to treat certain skin conditions in which the skin has become thickened, scaly or flaky. The properties in salicylic acid work to soften keratin, which is what plugs up the hair follicles on people who suffer from Keratosis Pilaris. Salicylic acid works to loosen the plugged keratin to make it easier to remove. When salicylic acid is used in combination with an intense moisturizer, it peels away the outer layer of skin to soften and smooth out the area. In Keratosis Pilaris, the routine use of salicylic acid helps to prevent the follicles from clogging in the first place. Strengths of salicylic acid products range from 0.5% to 30% so depending on the severity of the KP on a given individual, the concentration will need to be adjusted.
If you are plagued with Keratosis Pilaris and you are self-conscious about your skin’s bumpy appearance, start out with a low concentration of 3% salicylic acid strength to see how well it improves and smoothes out your skin’s texture. If you tolerate it well and would like to see more significant results, try a higher strength of 8% salicylic acid or 15% salicylic acid. Be sure to use salicylic only as directed on the package and do not leave it on longer than specified for best results.
When people think of the words “anti aging” more than likely the first thought that comes to mind in terms of skin care products is anti-wrinkle cream. And while anti-aging creams and serums are great for preventing or erasing fine lines and wrinkles, there are also mineral based makeup products which are great for aging skin as well. Mineral makeup products are very kind to the skin because they are more pure than other makeup brands and do not contain irritants such as dyes, fragrances and binders so they are not as harsh in nature.
As far as anti-aging properties, mineral makeup products from Skin Rx contain an ingredient called Palmarosa. Derived from the Palmarosa Plant, which is somewhat grass-like in appearance. It is known to moisturize the skin and to help stimulate cell regeneration. Natural mineral makeup also contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which work as a natural sunscreen to help prevent further sun damage and premature aging of the skin. While one should still apply a quality sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 anytime they expect to be exposed to the sun, these two ingredients do work to protect the skin better than if no sunscreen were used at all.
As our skin ages, it becomes more fragile and loses much of the hydration it had in your youth. When skin is young, it can soak up and store moisture almost effortlessly and that is part of what gives off the youthful glow. Aging causes the skin’s elasticity to degenerate which leaves your face, and other parts of your body, feeling drier and less supple than in your more youthful years. An anti-aging skin care routine should include high quality skin care products that are specially formulated for maturing skin. Cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliation products, and even anti-aging makeup should be a part of your daily aging skin care regime.
If you are taking your skin care into your own hands as opposed to visiting an esthetician on a regular basis, it is important to use quality skin care products and treatments. This means foregoing the cheaper (and often ineffective) commercial products that you will find in any drugstore. In order to be effective, certain treatments given by estheticians do require professional skin care products including chemical peels, microdermabrasion treatments, and a plethora of various professional facial treatments. This is not to say that professional skincare products are out of reach to the home user.
Jessner’s Chemical Peel
A Jessner’s Peel is a medium depth peel, stronger than other chemical peels on the market, which is often performed by an esthetician. With professional skincare products however, a Jessner’s chemical peel can be done by the individual home user. Because of the unique combination of quality grade ingredients, a Jessner’s peel can improve the appearance of extensive skin damage from aging and sun damage in comparison to the results one would see with lactic acid or glycolic acid peels.
Professional microdermabrasion treatments performed by an esthetician use a special machine which delivers a spray of aluminum oxide crystals onto the skin. The dead skin cells are then removed and immediately sucked away with a vacuum tool. Home microdermabrasion kits are now available but it is important to select a kit which will provide professional results such as Skin Rx’s Microdermabrasion Peel Kit #1 which includes everything you need to complete a series of professional microdermabrasion treatments in the comfort of your own home.
Professional Facial Treatments
Various professional skincare treatments performed by an esthetician include glycolic acid peels, lactic acid peels, and other anti-aging treatments. AHA chemical peels which contain glycolic acid or lactic acid can also be performed at home with similar results as long as the products you use contain professional grade ingredients. Skin Rx recommends starting with the Glycolic Peel Kit #1 or a 30% Lactic Acid Peel.
To ensure a safe and professional skincare experience, be sure to follow the instructions exactly as they are written. For best results, more than one treatment will be required so be sure to use the product as often as directed to achieve the improvement you desire.
Sometimes we do things a certain way just because “that’s the way we’ve always done it”. This is true even in our skin care routines sometimes. You may try a new product here and there if you think it will make a big difference but ultimately, you don’t change the basics like how you wash your face. If you are someone who uses a washcloth on your face while cleansing, this information is for you.
You may be using a mild facial cleanser but using a washcloth on your face is not gentle at all. In fact, you may be doing more harm than good. The problem is that most people who use a washcloth tend to scrub too vigorously which can damage the skin. And while the skin does need to be exfoliated to remove dead skin cells, there is something better to do the trick.
A Smooth Skin Shammy is a great choice to cleanse and remove dead skin cells while still being completely gentle to your sensitive facial skin. This 9”x9” cloth has a soft spongy texture that can be used on even the most sensitive skin – even those who suffer from Rosacea. The Smooth Skin Shammy is so gentle it can even be used to remove makeup from the eye area. Unlike harsh washcloths, it won’t pull and tug at this ultra delicate skin which can cause under eye wrinkles.
The Smooth Skin Shammy is extremely durable and will give you several years of use for just $8.00. Making this important change to your daily skin care routine will help you to care for your skin properly by removing dead skin cells from the surface and pores while avoiding all the problems associated with using a washcloth.
Pimples, blackheads and whiteheads occur when pores become obstructed with a combination of dirt, oil and dead skin cells. Many people find it difficult to resist the temptation to pick at or squeeze pimples. It’s important to avoid doing so – picking and squeezing can easily spread bacteria around the face, creating more pore obstructions – and even worse, it can actually cause permanent scarring on your skin.
A safe and effective tool to remove blackheads and pimples is a Double Loop Extractor. This tool, preferred by dermatologists and skin care professionals, features two different loop sizes for small or large blackheads and pimples. Skin Rx’s Wire Extractor is recommended for blackhead removal. Both extractors are German-made stainless steel instruments and are the finest tools available for at-home extraction.
To use, start with a clean face. The extractor tool will remove pimples more effectively if you steam your face or use a hot water compress prior to use – the heat will soften blemishes and make removal much easier. To begin the extraction process, lay the preferred side of the extractor tool on top of the blemish, encircling the area with the loop – when using the Double Loop Extractor, apply the small loop for whiteheads and the flat side for blackheads. Lightly apply slow and even pressure until the trapped matter is forced out. If the blackhead or pimple does not release easily, do not continue to attempt the extraction – applying too much pressure can cause irritation, infection and scarring. When you’ve completed the extraction process, be sure to disinfect the area. The Double Loop Extractor and the Wire Extractor are not recommended for deep, cystic acne.
The Skin Rx Double Loop Extractor is also available as part of our Extractor Kit #1, which also includes anti-bacterial wipes, lancets, and 15% Glycolic Smoothing Gel. Our Extractor Kit #2 features the Wire Extractor.
Click here to see our full line of blackhead solutions
Keratosis pilaris is quite a common condition which affects a person’s skin. It is a complicated name for something which is completely harmless but is considered to be aesthetically annoying to those who suffer from it. Those who do have keratosis pilaris are often afflicted with poor self perception and feel very self conscience about it.
The condition known as keratosis pilaris is most often a result of genetics, but is also associated with a variety of other skin conditions. It can occur on all skin types and becomes worse when the skin is dry. During the winter season, because of the dry weather, keratosis pilaris can become worse. It happens most often in females and sometimes clears itself up in adulthood.
Keratosis pilaris looks like tiny bumps on the surface of the skin – similar to what goosebumps look like except they do not go away. The area feels rough and when it lacks moisture, the skin may also feel itchy. Keratosis pilaris is connected to the process of keratin production. Keratin is an insoluble protein found in hair and nails as well as the most outer layer of the skin. It acts as a barrier against infections. Excess production of keratin will clog the pores and hair follicles which creates the appearance of the tiny bumps on the skin.
Chemical peels which contain AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) have been used with success to treat keratosis pilaris. Because it is hereditary and there is no known cure, the condition will not completely subside but it can be significantly improved through the use of glycolic acid chemical peel products and other AHA peel products such as lactic acid. Glycolic acid peels work to remove the dead outer layer of skin cells which can unclog the pores to reveal smoother skin. The glycolic peels can be done every couple of weeks to achieve the best results and in between treatments a glycolic acid moisturizer will help to maintain the smoother skin.
If you suffer from keratosis pilaris and you are ready to try a chemical peel to treat the condition, Skin Rx recommends starting out with a 30% glycolic acid peel or 30% lactic acid peel. For maintenance in between chemical peel treatments, try Glycolic Smoothing Gel. With a consistent skin care routine including the glycolic acid or lactic peels, the skin will begin to look and feel smoother.