Feb 22, 2010


Kristina Holland-Natural Skin Shop’s skin savvy writer (& biggest fan!)

As if reaching your prime wasn’t difficult enough. Now, as an adult, you have the two-folded drama of combating both acne and wrinkles! If you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, Natural Skin Shop can spare you a troubled face…and your adult grace!

Studies have revealed a recent spurge in the cases of post–adolescent acne in both men and women between the ages of 25 and 50. For women, the statistics are slightly higher (50%), while men tend to suffer less frequently from the condition (25%). Adult acne can debilitate an individual’s confidence (think big office meeting) and wreck havoc on your ability to appropriately address the signs of aging. What a pain in your adult reign!


You may have thought that acne was limited to the erratic, hormonally-imbalanced (and sometimes awkward) years of youth. Just when you thought you could retire the good ole’ brown paper bag, the ill-timed onset of adult acne introduces itself into your middle-aged life. Let’s look to the possible culprits and find a solution so you can go back to being a “grown-up” (whatever that means...).

*Cosmetic Acne: Your daily application, and most significantly re-application, of makeup could be creating an unhealthy proliferation of clogged pores, bacteria and irritation. Opt for products labeled non-comedogenic and non-acnegnic. To ensure your cosmetics remain bacteria-free, keep lids tightly closed and avoid direct heat and sunlight. This hygienic safety measure applies to any and all skin care products. Sharing cosmetics is also frowned upon for sanitary purposes. You may unintentionally acquire or “share” with another the bacteria behind acne’s unpopular presence (proprionobacterium acnes). Also, check the expiration date of your compact, foundation or blush to be sure your not applying makeup that’s been around since your teenage years!

*Stress: Tax season is approaching and the IRS may be to blame for your newly acquired problematic complexion. Okay…the IRS can’t be held accountable (pun intended) for everything gone-wrong; however, the stress associated with it can certainly take the blame. Embrace relaxation techniques (such as yoga) to decrease an excess of the stress hormone referred to as “cortisol”, which has been linked to both weight gain and acne.

Hormones are constantly fluctuating throughout the cycle of life particularly for women. Childbirth and menopause (particularly perimenopause) can create a temporary or long-term hormonal imbalance. Harsh acne treatments only make matters worse, and as a result, the problematic condition continues down a wayward path. Consult a physician to make sure your hormones are in check.

*The Glycemic Index:
The good ole’ saying “you are what you eat” may not be too far off track when it comes to acne. No, it’s not the typical blame game involving chocolate and french-fries. Rather, a food that scores high on the glycemic index chart could ultimately surge your hormones (insulin). When insulin levels spike, so too does sebum production…and there you have an instant recipe for acne! Be wary of not only your sweet tooth, but also of hidden offenders such as complex carbohydrates in addition to sugary drinks and condiments.
PS: Even ketchup contains high-fructose syrup.
PSS: The necessary nutrient, iodine also stimulates the production of oil. To rule out this culprit, temporarily avoid iodine-rich foods such as kelp and egg yolks.

Adult acne and rosacea are often times very closely related, so much so that they can go in hand and hand or are mistakenly confused for one another at times. Consult a physician if you suspect acne-rosacea. Clinical symptoms include a flushed appearance associated with inflamed pustules particularly after consuming spicy foods and liquor.
PS: Powdered cosmetics, such as loose foundations (i.e.: mineral makeup), are known to irritate rosacea conditions.

Thank your mom and dad for this one. Nature versus nurture is a frequent discussion throughout the psychological and dermatological community. Although, “nature” may have predisposed you to acne, “nurture” can alter the path of your skin’s destiny.

*New Allergies:
Allergies, both internal and external, can develop late in age due to a compromised immune system, leaky gut syndrome or simply “just because”. For external protection, opt for a routine with minimal ingredients. The labels “hypoallergenic”, “allergy-tested”, “dermatologist-tested” and “all-natural” are highly misleading. A product may not have to undergo significant testing to be considered hypoallergenic. Likewise, a “hired” dermatologist could “assess” a product on a “select” group of individuals thereby not including a wide range of possible allergies. Also, all-natural is great, however, essentials oils can be the cause of many an allergic and acnegenic irritation. Think lavender, lemon, orange and …poison ivy! Ouch! Opt for sophisticated product formulations utilizing the best of science and nature.

*Damage (Radiation):
Oh my…have the years flown by and now your once perfect skin is looking a bit drab, uneven, dull…and need I say…. full of acne breakouts. How could this be? The invincible years of youth may have left you blissfully unaware of the daily damage incurred by baking in the sun’s rays. Photodamage breaks down collagen and elastin, expands pores, stimulates sebaceous glands and deteriorates the skin’s immune system. Tally up the assaults and your skin can certainly develop acne as a result. Even incidental photodamage can do a great deal of harm to the skin, which is why daily sun protection is a must for all skin types (even the healthy, youthful, beautiful variety). Nevertheless…who says the damage can’t be undone? Natural Skin Shop certainly believes in second chances. So, up the ante and invest in regular skin peels to create healthy new skin cells, an antioxidant-rich serum to fend off free-radicals and a stable, broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from future assaults.
PS: A compromised or damaged lipid barrier may also be to blame for your adult-acne. Please also see the Natural Skin Shop Blog: “Repair My Barrier…(and my derrière)”.

The good news about adult acne is that many acne-targeted treatments simultaneously provide a solution for aging skin. Therapeutic treatments involving glycolic acid, such as glycolic acid peels, treat the keratinization disorder associated with both acne and wrinkles. By stimulating fresh cellular production, chemical peels combat acne and wrinkles on all fronts. Skin-type appropriate skin peels are also highly effective against acne’s lesser-known associates (photodamage, rosacea and an impaired barrier).

*Gentle Cleanser (Don’t risk further irritating inflamed acne conditions by drying the epidermis thereby causing a bevy of additional skin concerns. Natural Skin Shop’s cleanser recommendation: The antioxidant-rich Peel RX Green Tea Cleanser
*Medicated Toner (Combat bacteria, dead skin and excess cosmetic and environmental residue)
*Serum (oily skin)/Lotion (normal to combination)/Serum + Lotion (combination to dry)
*Sunscreen (Stable/Broad-Spectrum/PABA-free/Non-comedogenic)
*Monthly Skin Peels (Your skin’s ability to renew itself takes a sluggish turn for the worse with age. Chemical peels perk up your skin into high-drive. )

Adult Acne: Common Question of the Day
Q: My daughter and I both have acne. Can we use the same products?
A: More often than not, adult and teenage acne don’t have much in common. To avoid unnecessary dryness and irritation, make sure to avoid drying, over-the-counter anti-acne potions and lotions targeted towards the youth. Yes, teenage and adult acne can have similar symptomatic conditions, however, the root cause and circumstances are often very different and therefore need to be addressed as so… In fact, be sure to check out your daughter’s products to make sure she isn’t falling prey to the victimization associated with “cyclical acne treatments”. Basically, any product that is marketed as an acne cure, but is instead packed full of irritating ingredients and drying astringents, which only perpetuate the ongoing battle instead of eliminating the root cause.

PS: Leave acne in the past where it belongs. But always remember to smile, smell the roses and forget you’re a “real adult” from time to time. Your skin and you heart will thank you….

Be Young at Heart,
Natural Skin Shop


Feel free to post your blog comments below!

Feb 15, 2010


Kristina Holland-Natural Skin Shop’s skin savvy writer (& biggest fan!)

*Be sure to thoroughly wash away mineral makeup before hitting the sack!

Even so-called “makeup so pure, you can sleep in it” is not a healthy choice for most skin types. While you sleep, your skin works to renew itself. Opt for ingredients, such as vitamin-A and hyaluronic acid, which aid in the PM cellular renewal process. Just because you may be able to get away with sleeping in mineral makeup from time to time, doesn’t mean it should become a habit! Thoroughly remove makeup and additional debris with a PH-balanced, skin-softening cleanser such as Peel Rx Brightening Cleanser.

*Choose wisely and approach ALL makeup with caution!
Mineral makeup doesn’t guarantee a beautiful finish nor does it guarantee clear skin. Like any foundation or powder, choosing a formula that’s right for your skin type is half the battle. The second stage of the melee is correct makeup application and removal! The soothing, anti-inflammatory properties of zinc oxide can turn irritating and occlusive in a matter of days if applied with a heavy hand. By the same token, be sure to thoroughly remove ever last bit of makeup-residue with a gentle exfoliating toner such as Glycolic Peel Rx Advanced Toner Mist. To further prevent cosmetic acne, maintain a regular peeling regimen with the aid of chemical peels. Skin peels work to renew the surface of the skin (and beyond) by sloughing off pore-clogging debris and excess dead skin. Hello gorgeous!

*“Test out” mineral makeup before a big event to ensure its right for you!
Due to mineral makeup’s high concentration of physical sunscreens, a white cast is often distastefully unveiled by a camera’s flash. Always experiment with mineral makeup before the “big day” to ensure your complexion doesn’t go from glowy to pasty and gray with the click of a button.

Be A Natural Beauty,
Natural Skin Shop

Check out Part I of this Glycolic Acid Peel post and feel free to post your blog comments below!

Feb 12, 2010

Where in the world.......

is the Natural Skin Shop staff? If you have tried to reach us these last few days - either by phone or live chat - and found no one was there to assist you, we whole heartedly apologize. The offices of Natural Skin Shop are getting a face lift and the noise level has made phone conversations impossible. This has translated to higher than normal live chat traffic and longer wait times! Please be assured that this is a temporary situation. We are hoping that the dust will settle very shortly and we can resume our renowned, personalized customer service as quickly as possible.

I thank each and every one of you not only for your devotion to and faith in our company and products but also for being patient with us during this period.

Everyone at Natural Skin Shop wishes you the best Valentines Day every! Smile, be happy, and stay beautiful!

Ginger Loranger
Sales Director
Natural Skin Shop

Feb 9, 2010


Kristina Holland-Natural Skin Shop’s skin savvy writer (& biggest fan!)

Don’t let a splotchy, blotchy, “good-for-nothing” complexion get in your way this Valentine’s Day. Let Natural Skin Shop be your sweetheart and prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from the start! Watch out Humphrey Bogart!

Did cupid’s arrow leave you with an unsightly scar on the most romantic night of the year? Okay…maybe it wasn’t Cupid’s arrow so much as a sudden bout with inflammatory acne. Nevertheless, the solution remains the same. A healthy dose of exfoliation in conjunction with a skin-brightening regimen and diligent sunscreen protection will surely erase the remnants of an acne breakout.

“Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match, Find Me a Find, Catch Me a Catch”
Skin peels, much like relationships, require a certain degree of “chemistry”. Finding your perfect skin peel counterpart can be as simple as 1 2 3! Natural Skin Shop has the perfect match for you…chemically speaking!

OILY/ACNE-PRONE: Go for the Salicylic Acid Peel! The beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) formula of the oil-soluble salicylic acid peel excavates beyond the oil and debris to reveal an even-toned and blemish-free complexion.
COMBINATION: Go for the Alpha-Beta Peel! Combination skin is fixated somewhere between dry and oily. This skin type often combats both extremes of the skin type spectrum. An excess of oil often highlights the notorious t-zone as well. The alpha-beta peel works to address both dry and oily skin concerns with a harmonious combination of alpha and beta hydroxy acids.
SENSITIVE/DRY: Go for a Lactic Acid Peel! Sensitive skin is often susceptible to the threat of irritation and dehydration. Blush because you want to, not because you have to this Valentine’s Day. The lactic acid peel, particularly a light strength concentration, is a suitable mate for both dry and sensitive skin types. Don’t risk stripping an already impaired lipid barrier. Dry skin is often a systematic condition indicative of harsh and irritating cosmetics. Before you label your skin as inherently dry, be sure to rule out your skin care regimen as a potential offender. If your skin is particularly sensitive, avoid chemical peels altogether. Instead, use a gentle exfoliating toner such as Glycolic Advanced Toner Mist.
NORMAL: Go for the Glycolic Peel! Neither too oily nor too dry but perfectly balanced! Your skin can just about handle anything, however, don’t push your luck. This skin type can easily turn to the dark side (dry and irritated) with too many aggressive fronts. Glycolic acid peels are ideal for peel newcomers as well as those without many skin type concerns.
As always, the concentration of a chemical peel affects its strength and permitted depth of penetration.

If you’re too shy of chemical peels and yearn for something with a bit of nitty gritty mechanical exfoliation. Micro Derm RX Anti-Aging Microdermabrasion Cream is the perfect counterpart for your skin! At-home microdermabrasion treatments often fail to deliver medical-grade results due to the absence of high-grade ingredients. Micro Derm RX blends science and nature with a comprehensive formula combining all-natural active ingredients (Vitamin C and hyaluronic) with the technology of aluminum oxide crystals. Opt for a microdermabrasion treatment and let the physical chemistry develop into LOVE!

Roses are red, violets are blue, skin can be tricky, but we always have a solution for you!

Happy Valentine’s Day,
Natural Skin Shop (AKA Your Funny Valentine)

Feel free to post your blog comments below!

Feb 8, 2010


By Kristina Holland-Natural Skin Shop’s skin savvy writer (& biggest fan!)

Mineral makeup! Who hasn’t heard the beauty buzz surrounding mineral makeup? It’s on QVC, the trendiest store shelves and the latest fresh-faced models. So you know there has to be a catch! Truth be told, mineral makeup is nothing new! It’s been around since…well…makeup!

The basic ingredients of mineral makeup (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mica) are found in almost every traditional form of makeup. So what’s mineral makeup’s bargaining tool? A concentrated dose of skin-illuminating, finely milled minerals with few to none additives. Due to the absence of fragrances, dyes and preservatives, mineral makeup is often marketed towards acne prone or sensitive skin types. Not all formulations, however, are free from the perils of irritation and comedogenicity. Knowing which ingredients are worthwhile and which can “hit the makeup road” are crucial for your complexion’s wellbeing.

Some people love mineral makeup, while others are left itchy, red and irritated. What gives? Although mineral makeup is formulated to be “all natural”, many natural ingredients can be classified as potential skin irritants. Case in point, mica is an all-natural mineral known for its less than soothing, pore-clogging and irritating properties. Another cause for irritation are the so-called “mineral” imposters. Bismuth oxycholoride, a derivative of lead, copper and chloride, is notorious for its potentially hazardous side effects. Often accountable for the bevy of rashes and cystic acne associated with mineral makeup, bismuth oxycholoride provides no benefits to the skin and is used solely to impart a pearlescent and shimmery appearance. Needless to say, opt for a formulation without this unnecessary and precarious ingredient.

“Mineral makeup is a foundation and sunscreen in one!”
Some lines do specialize in a powdered form of sunscreen for on-the-go, quick coverage. For the most part, however, mineral makeup (particularly a light application) will not provide substantial broad-spectrum protection from UV radiation. Of course any additional sun protection is helpful against the aging process. For enhanced coverage, apply mineral makeup on top of a broad-spectrum sunscreen such as Peel Rx Green Tea Anti-Aging SPF 30+Moisturizer.

“Mineral makeup is an all-in-one cure and cover-up for acne conditions!”
For some, mineral makeup can heal existing inflammatory acne conditions due to the prevalent concentration of zinc oxide. For others, it can add to the already burgeoning acne dilemma. In the beauty world, there is saying which denotes this very conundrum. YMMV stands for “your mileage may vary” and it couldn’t be more pertinent to the puzzling case of mineral makeup. For a ‘clear’ path to beautiful skin, cleanse thoroughly, sustain adequate dermal hydration and exfoliate on a regular basis. A naturally radiant glow can be ascertained with the aid of lactic acid peels, which smooth skin and reduce blemishes without compromising the lipid barrier. A stronger solution to problematic skin involves the ever-popular glycolic acid peel, which effectively dissolves cellular build-up and residue caused by an excess of cosmetics, surface oils and pollution.

“All mineral makeup is healthy, pure and free from synthetic ingredients!”
This is a false claim, which has led to many makeup-induced skin misdemeanors. Natural Skin Shop advises against trusting the front label of a product regardless of its origin or popular reputation. Take a proactive approach to your skin care regimen and check out the ingredients. If you are reading a novel-like ingredient label, keep hitting the beauty aisle pavement until a truly natural and chemical-free formula is within reach. Decide on a mineral makeup with less than ten ingredients. Fewer ingredients equates to fewer potential allergens!


Feb 1, 2010


  • ‘H’umidify! The worst threat to your skin may not be the arid weather conditions outside. A skin-debilitating predator lurks indoors…possibly at your home or office! Indoor heaters can wreck havoc on the skin’s ability to retain adequate moisture levels. A humidifier can significantly decrease your chances of dermal dehydration by restoring necessary humidity back into the air.
  • ‘A’pply Sunscreen! Earmuffs…check! Mittens…check! Sunscreen? Not so much… Many individuals fail to apply sunscreen on a regular basis during the winter season. However, the ultraviolet rays of winter can be just as powerful (and damaging) as those of summer or spring… (Hello snow-glare!) UV radiation exposure accelerates the loss of collagen and debilitates the skin’s ability to renew itself. Take a cue from the following well-known verse: “I’ve got sunshine…on a cloudy day”. The Temptations understood the conundrum of harmful UV radiation on an overcast winter day. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as Peel RX Green Tea Anti-Aging SPF 30+Moisturizer, to ward off intracellular dehydration and the proliferation of cellular buildup.
  • ‘P’repare in advance! The weather has a tendency to be unpredictable…hot one day, cool the next! Keeping a watchful eye on your skin will protect it from the ups and downs of this rollercoaster ride known as the winter season. Tweaking your daily regimen from time to time may be necessary to avoid an imbalance. Invest in a night cream, such as Peel Rx Green Tea Antioxidant Moisturizer Cream, which will nourish and revitalize dry, damaged skin.
  • ‘P’ure Skin Care! Conserving your skin’s water reserve is crucial for its wellbeing! To sustain a clear and supple complexion, avoid substandard skin care ingredients such as harsh detergents, dyes and preservatives. A skin care regimen consisting of pure, high-grade product formulations will prevent unnecessary irritation and dryness from the get-go...
  • ‘Y’ing, Yang! A well-balanced lifestyle along with consistent quality skin care and regular exfoliation (I.e.: Chemical Peels) will keep your glow on track! Cardiovascular exercise, antioxidant-rich foods and ample sleep are all constituents for beautiful, healthy, youthful-looking skin.

PS: Evaporation dehydrates skin…fast! Promptly towel dry after a lukewarm bath or shower… with an emphasis on lukewarm! Extreme water conditions can rob the epidermis of vital moisture.

Have a Winter Wonderland of Glow,
Natural Skin Shop


Feel free to post your blog comments below!