Years ago I dressed up as a drowning victim for Halloween. I wore blue makeup all over my face…and broke out. Another time, I wore a scary mask all night…and broke out. Here are a few tips to keep you from making the mistakes I made.

Makeup: If you look at ingredients in Halloween makeup, it’s not always a pretty sight. They often contain pore clogging oils and other highly comedogenic ingredients. Choose oil-free varieties and look for the term “non-comedogenic” on the packaging. Also, stay away from makeups which have “iso” ingredients, including isopropyl myristate and isopropyl palmitate. Myristal myristate is another big offender to watch out for. When applying the makeup, apply it as gently and quickly as you can, and wash it off before bed, performing your usual regimen after washing it off.

Costumes: Masks and other creative costumes can rub the skin and cause irritation. One of the most surefire ways to initiate a breakout is to irritate and rub the skin. People who play sports see this phenomenon with chin straps. Masks create a similar scenario. Try to choose a costume that does not have a mask or anything that rubs on acne prone areas. If you already chose your costume and it contains a mask or something that will rub your skin, wear it for only short periods of time if you can.

Have fun you guys!!

I put up a page about visualizing clear skin a few months ago and asked for some feedback from you guys on whether or not it worked for you. You responded with some comments which are now on the visualization and acne page. I know trying this stuff can be a stretch, but if the mind and body really are one, which when you think about it…they really are to some extent…then perhaps it’s worth a shot. I personally enjoy and employ the whole concept of visualizing what I want to create, and it seems to work well in most areas of my life. Medical conditions are one area where I’m a little less convinced, but I remain open. If you decide to try this, please keep submitting your comments on the visualization page.

New and improved moistuizer: I’ve been in and out of the lab a few times and we’re making some fantastic progress. I’ll hopefully be sending out samples to moderators and product testers soon to see if they prefer it to the current moisturizer. I prefer it quite a bit myself. The samples I’ve been developing have no tack, take care of flakiness, and feel amazing.

Spot treatment: I’m on the second round of spot treatment now and I’ve sent it out to some moderators and testers to see what they think. I’ll let you know when I get a response from them. I’m not settled on this sample, but wanted to get some feedback before taking it back for improvements.

SPF: I’m waiting to nail down the new and improved non-spf moisturizer first in the hopes of using that base for the SPF. The SPF is still a ways away.

There’s a paint-your-own-pottery store in my neighborhood called Terra Mia, and we go down there from time to time just to have fun. Well, guess who got design of the week!? Truth be told, I kinda asked the owner if I could be design of the week. I know, that’s totally cheating. Oh well. I still got it! :) Here’s my bowl:

my bowl

Are you proud of me? ;)

safety razor

In my neverending quest to find the least irritating shave, I recently tried a safety razor. Safety razors are seriously old school. They are heavy metal contraptions into which you put an actual double edged razor blade. Since I read on a couple of shaving web sites that safety razors provide the least irritating shave, I decided to try one.

It was a horrible shave, and terribly irritating–one of the most irritating shaves I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t even finish one shave with it. It felt like raking something sharp across my skin. Yuck.

People online say it takes some practice to achieve the skill needed to get the best shave possible with these things, but I felt quite clearly after my first shave that no amount of practice would change this frog into a prince.

I tried the Merkur brand because it was most highly recommended from people who use safety razors. It was quite expensive, but I figured if it worked out I’d save money on blades, since the regular double edged blades are so inexpensive. But alas, I’m just out the money I spent on this thing. I’d highly recommend saving your money and just sticking with the Gillette Trac II Plus or the Gillette Sensor Excel.

supplements

Hey you guys. I wanted to show you the supps that I take each day. I’ve read enough evidence to come to the conclusion that supplementing with fish oil and zinc is prudent. I also supplement with some other stuff, which I thought I’d share. Here’s a list of what I take each day:

Fish oil: Three 1000mg pills. Fish oil is a potent anti-inflammatory. Acne is an inflammatory disease. Plus, fish oil is great for heart health and a bevy of other diseases. No-brainer. I take Country Life brand because they don’t give me any fish burps.

Zinc: There is probably more evidence backing up zinc for controlling acne than any other supplement. Study after study show about 40% reduction in acne lesions. Keep in mind that placebo is 30%, so zinc outpaces placebo, albeit not to an astonishing degree. I take one 30-50mg pill per day, depending on what’s on sale. Zinc becomes toxic at levels above 100mg/day.

Multi-vitamin: Just to cover my bases I take a name brand multi-vitamin. I prefer a large name brand because I figure they’ve got more to lose if they are found negligent in some way, such as not putting the required amount of vitamins in there. From what I’ve read, we don’t know if a multi-vitamin is definitely beneficial, and multi-vitamins do not contain polyphenols, the life-giving chemicals in plants. But taking a multi makes me feel better just in case.

Borage oil/evening primrose oil: Borage oil, or evening primrose oil both contain GLA (gamma linoleic acid). Their anti-inflammatory activity and efficacy are controversial and still up for debate. So why do I take it? Because I saw a naturopath a few years ago and she told me to, so I take them on occasion. Yeah, not a good reason. I’ll probably stop taking them soon :) But for full disclosure, I thought I’d let you know I take them. If you have recent evidence of their efficacy or non-efficacy please let me know.

Vitamin D3: I take one 1000mg vitamin D3 pill per day. I don’t eat vitamin D fortified dairy much at all, and my sun exposure is limited, so I make sure to take a D3 pill each day.

That’s it. It’s a handful as you can see, but I’ve become adept at gulping them all down in one swig. Have I noticed effects from them? Honestly, not really. But it feels good to take them just for bodily insurance. Hopefully evidence will mount regarding all of the above mentioned supplements so we have a better idea of which are truly beneficial.

Cool news you guys. I’ve been working with Daniel, our intern, as well as a statistician, and a well known doctor to put together a “prospective dietary trial” on milk and acne. What is a “prospective dietary trial”? Well, it means basically that we’re going to ask people on Acne.org to stop eating and drinking dairy and to fill out surveys and take pictures to document changes in their acne symptoms. If we get enough people to volunteer and follow through, it could be seminal research on the topic. Pretty darn cool.

Daniel, our intern, has been amazing with all of this–big shout out to him. He’s basically running the show. But all of us can be involved too! I’ve decided to be a candidate for the study, which will be hard because it will mean no pizza, but I’ll do it in the name of science! I’ll let you all know when this starts and when you can sign up.