Treat Oily Summer Skin Without Drying it Out


Originally featured on Yahoo Beauty

Attention oily skin types: Summer is coming and it’s time to get downright combative when it comes to your skin care. Fight oil. Control shine. Mattify at all costs—or the impending acne wins.

It’s true that sweatier conditions can cause zits to fester once dirt becomes trapped in pores, but here’s the rub: Adopting an aggressive battle plan to thwart increased oil production can cause oily skin types to actually go dry in the summertime (yes, even if your complexion becomes super shiny). This process disrupts the path to glowing, healthy skin just as much as any bout with blemishes.

“The periphery of the face has a lower density of oil glands and will be more prone to drying and wrinkling,” says Dr. Dendy Engelman, a New York-based dermatologic surgeon and director of dermatologic surgery at New York Medical College. “If you see fine, superficial wrinkling of the skin, there is a good chance that it’s dehydrated and could use moisturizing. Of course, scaling or flaking is an extreme manifestation of dehydration and need for moisturization.”

Our fun-in-the-sun lifestyles also contribute to skin turning dry despite increased oil production. “Even though we are producing more sweat and having more sebaceous activity, we’re also drying skin out,” says Susan McCarthy, lead aesthetician at Auberge Spa at Calistoga Ranch resort in Calistoga, California. “We are washing our faces more, wearing more sunscreen, and if out in the sun all day, drying out the inner workings of the dermal layer, so skin is really getting more dehydrated.”

In short, your so-called oily skin is likely to turn into combination skin—with an oily T-zone and dry patches found along the perimeter that need major hydration. To avoid unwittingly falling into the dry-skin trap that befalls so many oily skin types this time of year, McCarthy suggests trying a more gentle regimen of skin care than the hardcore, oil-stripping products that many oily types gravitate toward in efforts to control greasiness.

“Use a mild cleanser instead of those made with alcohol and surfactants, which can strip the skin of its natural oils,” she says. For oily skin types in the summer, McCarthy also favors gentle exfoliators to those made with glycolic acid and retinol. To restore hydration, Engelman suggests hydrating twice a day to help repair your skin’s natural barrier. “I would not advise someone with oily skin to use ointments on their face, because they may risk causing acne,” she says. “Creams, emulsions, oils, or lotions should be enough to hydrate the skin and still keep it blemish-free.”

Try spot-treating dry patches of skin with a rich moisturizer that doesn’t feel heavy, like KINDri Los Angeles Orange Smoothie ($88). Hydrating oil-free serums like Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum ($50) can provide another way to moisturize without the greasy look or feel.

Applying these skin quenchers directly after a hydrating toner, likebelif Hungarian Water Essence ($42) offers another way to maximize hydration without leaving skin feeling sticky. “This can help moisturizer absorb more completely, instead of leaving skin tacky to the touch,” says McCarthy.

Finally, while it may feel instinctive to reach for whipped gel formulations when treating oily skin, both skin pros provide this caveat: “Gels actually tend to dry the skin more than hydrate it,” says Engelman. Indeed, many gel products contain drying alcohols, so McCarthy prefers those that are aloe-based.

As our skin’s oil production rises along with temperatures this summer, don’t declare war on your complexion—no matter how oily it gets. Instead, gently cleanse and exfoliate, then nurture it with inventive hydrators that diminish dry patches without making skin feel weighed down or slick. You may find that the path to radiant skin this summer is not only paved with the least resistance, but with skin aids you’ve been woefully avoiding all along.

Doctors Warn Against Using Home Remedies to Try and Treat Skin Cancer


Thursday, May 28, 2015 05:38PM
NEW YORK (WABC) — The Internet is full of all kinds of home remedies, so called natural cure-alls for skin cancer.

They aren’t helping, and can actually cost patients a lot of time and cause problems for doctors.

“I’ve had patients who treated their skin cancers with rubbing alcohol, with bleach products, and it certainly causes a lot of damage to the skin, but it in no way treats the skin cancer specifically,” said dermatologic surgeon Dr. Snehal Amin.

Dr. Amin is alarmed by pointless home remedies, from oils, herbs and acids, that take time away from legitimate diagnosis and treatment.

“I had a 35-year old gentleman who had a skin cancer on his shoulder and it grew quite substantially while he was at home treating it with a home remedy with various over the counter remedies, and by the time he came to me, surgery was his only treatment and it was quite a large surgery.”

The cancer in one picture is so bad we cannot even show it to you.

The thing that so many people forget is that skin is our largest organ. If you get skin cancer and it is not diagnosed and you go after it with other kinds of creams that are not addressing the skin cancer, it can spread to other organs and be fatal.

“This melanoma can actually be spread to the rest of the body,” said Dr. Amin. “At that point there is no cream that is going to help the patient. In fact surgery can’t even help the patient at that point. So certain skin cancers need to be treated immediately.”

Paige Blake’s skin cancer scar is completely invisible, unless you know where to look.

She too was afraid of surgery, and asked whether there was a potent cream that could be used instead. “I know that there are a lot of advancements and I had thought maybe there was something, maybe it was a topical cream,” Paige said.

But she also knew to go to a doctor. “It really matters what you do first, it matters how you get it diagnosed, it matters how you treat it,” said Dr. Amin.

The sooner, the better.

Magnesium Spray Might Be the Answer to All Your (Tummy) Problems


Originally featured on Glamour

By By Susan Yara

Confession: My friends and I love talking about our digestive issues. Listen in on our conversations and you’re bound to hear one, if not all of us, discuss our problems. Is it IBS? Gluten? Lactose-intolerance? While we can blame everything from diet to stress, lack of sleep, and men, guess what: There might be a simple solution to help ease common tummy troubles (though, unfortunately, it won’t fix men)—and it comes in the form of magnesium spray.

I first learned about it after a routine check-up. My blood tests looked good, but, “Oh, you’re a little deficient in magnesium,” my doctor told me. “Most people are.”

According to a study at the Medical University of South Carolina, 68 percent of Americans consume less magnesium than the recommended daily allowance (RDA). That means most of us miss out on a mineral that plays a crucial role in more than 300 different biochemical reactions in our bodies each day.

Here’s what your body needs magnesium for: energy production, calcium absorption, hormonal health, muscle function, sleep, blood pressure regulation, and detoxification and weight loss.

Which means that making sure you get enough magnesium in your diet translates to a more relaxed, highly efficient, healthy body that can handle just about any challenge—in the boardroom or in the bathroom.

I had to get in on this magic mineral, so I started using magnesium spray, also known as magnesium oil, after I got a recommendation from New York City dermatologist Dendy E. Engelman, M.D. Sure, you can take an oral supplement, but she touts the benefits of transdermal absorption.

“The reality is that we absorb magnesium at a much higher and much faster rate through the skin,” says Dr. Engelman. “It’s quick, easy, and effective.”

And if you need another reason to hop on the magnesium train, she says it can also help treat skin disorders like acne, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and just about every reason I visit my dermatologist each year.

“The promise that magnesium oil holds for safely and effectively aiding in cutaneous ailments is exciting and is a world that has yet to be fully discovered,” she says.

Of course, with any type of supplement, don’t overdo it. Check with your doctor if you’re unsure how much you need, and start with about eight to 10 pumps on your skin per day. I’ve been using a magnesium spray by Ancient Minerals, while Dr. Engelman recommends BetterYou to her patients. It feels a little tingly and itchy as it absorbs, but that goes away over time. Eventually, you can work your way up to about 20 pumps on your body. I’ve used it for a couple of weeks now, so it’s still too early to know whether it really works, but just for the promise of a good night’s sleep, this mini experiment is worth it.