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How Does the Skin’s Microbiome Affect your Skincare Choices?

            We often hear the term “microbiome” these days. We’ve heard all about how it is important to balance the good bacteria in our intestines to improve our overall health, but the human body is full of microbiome that affect different systems of the body. Microbiome is a term that refers to any group or collection of microorganisms that live in a certain place. Our skin is another organ in our body, the largest organ, that hosts an intricate balance of bacteria on its surface. The microbiome (pH) of the skin affects the outer layer of the skin as well as the interior and is crucial to overall skin health, protection from disease and infection, and provides a barrier to the pollutants of the outside world. Understanding a little about how the skin’s microbiome works, will help you make better decisions about your skincare.

            Did you know your skin hosts a variety of bacteria, fungi, and viruses? It’s true, we are walking germ factories (as some of us affectionately refer to our children). Depending on the texture, thickness, and humidity, different microbes can inhabit different regions of your skin. These microorganisms, however, actually serve an important purpose, because they aid in the protection of the body’s internal systems. The proper balance of bacteria, sebum, and other microorganisms, is the key to your best skin health. Chances are, how you’re feeling on the outside, reflects a problem on the inside and vice versa.

           The skin’s acid mantle (pH) is created by the sebaceous glands and the sweat glands producing sebum and sweat, respectively, to create a fine acidic film on the skin’s surface. This acidic film keeps the millions of bacteria, viruses, and environmental pollutants at bay. It serves as another layer of protection to the body by protecting the skin, which in turn, acts as a barrier to the body. The body’s interior being mostly alkaline, creates a nice balance between the skin’s acidic pH. The ability to maintain this balance, is what keeps our skin healthy and beautiful. When the acid mantle is out of balance, dirt, bacteria, and other microorganisms can enter the pores and create acne. Over-cleansing disrupts the pH of the acid mantle, causing an imbalance of this crucial layer of protection.

          The regions that we are typically concerned with when it comes to the effect of the microbiome on the skin are the face, chest, and back as these areas produce higher levels of oil and are most prone to acne. The overproduction of oil or sebum from the sebaceous glands (often occurring during the teen years) causes an imbalance in the skin’s acid mantle. This, in turn, causes inflammation where the pores become clogged. Bacteria has the opportunity to enter the skin’s pores. Any imbalance in the acid mantle can throw the skin’s microbiome off. We often react by using products to dry out the area, which contain high levels of acids. These products often exacerbate the issue. Using the right cleanser can help restore the pH balance without stripping the skin of good bacteria.

          Blemfree™, from Equibal Labs, is a line of acne treatment that includes washes, gentle exfoliants, and moisturizers that work with your skin’s ideal pH level to give you healthy, clear skin.  Blemfree™ is different from other products on the market because it works to eliminate acne and prevent future breakouts through a daily routine, regardless of skin type. The botanical ingredients in  Blemfree™ cleanse, tone, and nourish the skin without disrupting the acid mantle of the skin. With daily use, skin care issues can be corrected, delivering long-lasting results.

          Understanding how your skin’s chemistry works, can make you a better-informed consumer and give you the tools to buy products that will work rather than waste your money on products that could make the problem worse and cause even more inflammation.  Blemfree™ is a system of products that has been carefully developed to work together to give you the results you want. Implementing a skincare routine that uses gentle, yet effective, ingredients to work with your body’s chemistry is the way to get lasting results. By understanding that your products may be actually making your acne worse by disrupting the microbiome of your skin, you can choose products that will help, rather than harm, your skin. Make  Blemfree™ your choice for skincare and feel confident you are using the best products for your overall skin health.

Sources:

Grice, E. and Segre, J. (2011). The skin microbiome. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535073/

Schmid, M.D. and Korting, Korting, H.C. (1995). The concept of the acid mantle of the skin; its relevance for the choice of skin cleansers. Dermatology. 191 (4) pp. 276-80. Retrieved from:https://web.archive.org/web/20110301151916/http://www.sebamed.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/Studien/Saeuremantelkonzept/1.05.pdf

By: Sara E. Goodwin

Should Men Use Women’s Hair Removal Products?

            With the summer months upon us, it’s finally time to hit the beaches and pools! But that means it’s also time to think about hair removal. Guys, the last thing you want at the beach is a sweater; even facial hair seems to need more attention when it’s hot. So, what should you do to keep your skin smooth, hair-free, and healthy? Women’s products just won’t cut it. Men’s hair growth is quite different than most women, therefore, they have different needs and considerations when choosing a hair removal method.

           One of the reasons that men need to find products that are specifically tailored to their needs is that they perspire more than women, thus creating more bacteria on the skin. Both oil production and perspiration is increased during the summer months, which can lead to clogged pores.  finipil® 4 men only, a product designed by Equibal Labs just for men, works to eliminate the presence of bacteria on the skin and keep pores and hair follicles clear. It works great as an aftershave for the face because it shrinks the hair follicle and kills 99.999% of bacteria that may be present on the skin. By keeping the follicles healthy, it also improves the texture of hair as it grows back.

           Body hair removal, in the summer, becomes much more of a concern due to the fact that hair holds onto the bacteria from perspiration, as well as the excess oils that are produced, and can cause odor in addition to uncomfortable skin. Hair also grows more quickly in the heat, making it important to find a method that works and keeps your skin comfortable and looking great.

           Professional salons that offer hair removal using  Nufree® 4 men only are the best choice for a comfortable, complete hair removal process that will last longer than most other traditional methods, such as waxing or shaving. One of the greatest benefits of  Nufree® 4 men only, is that it adheres fully to the hair follicle, allowing for removal without breakage, and effectively removes all or most of the hair papules. This lengthens the time between hair removal and keeps your skin healthy.

           Your skin can benefit even more from using  Nufree® 4 men only by following your hair removal with finipil® 4 men only. These two products work together to keep your skin clean, smooth, and healthy. By using finipil® 4 men only after your Nufree® 4 men only treatment, you shrink the pores, keeps the skin free of bacteria, and protect the hair follicle from being clogged with dirt and oils. Using finipil ® 4 men only at home ensures that your skin stays clean and healthy in between hair removal and can be used as an aftershave, as well as many other antibacterial uses, preventing ingrown hairs and maintaining healthy skin and hair texture.

           For summertime and beyond, men’s hair removal is made easy with the Equibal Labs line of products designed with men’s needs in mind. finipil® 4 men only and Nufree® 4 men only work together as a powerhouse team to help you look great and feel even better.

By: Sara E. Goodwin

Men’s Grooming Tips and Showering Essentials

            Many people, men and women alike, think you need a cabinet full of products to keep you clean and feeling great. This just isn’t true. Just a few products that work well together to keep your skin clean, fresh, and healthy are all you need. Protecting your skin’s natural pH mantel is crucial to maintaining the balance of oils that your skin needs, too. So, instead of crowding your shower and bathroom with products that are working against each other, or just aren’t right for your skin, choose the best products and reduce the amount of time and money you’re wasting.

            Men’s bath products tend to be too harsh and strip the skin of necessary oils. But how do you control body odor and sweat without over-cleansing? Showering too often and in very hot water is actually counterproductive. After a good workout, everyone wants a hot shower, but you need to be careful or you’ll dry your skin out and over-exfoliate it, consider a cool down rinse instead! Also, it is important not to take very hot showers after you’ve been in the sun or after hair removal. This would leave the pores (hair follicles) open, not maintaining healthy pH. Hard very hot water can strip it of the healthy oils that it needs and then clog your pores the same way it leaves film on the shower tiles.With the right products, showering can leave your skin feeling and smelling clean. 4 men only Shampoo and Body Wash is designed just for men. It’s balanced cleansing formula leaves skin feeling clean, but does not over strip it or leave it dry and damaged. It is gentle enough to use all over your body, including your face and hair. 4 men only also has a nice, masculine scent that is derived from botanical ingredients, so you know that harsh perfumes won’t irritate your skin either. 

            4 men only Shampoo and Body Wash will leave you feeling clean, smelling great, and keep your hair looking healthy. As with the rest of the  4 men only products, the Shampoo/ Bodywash and Toner uses botanical ingredients that clean your hair without stripping it and over-drying it. 4 men only products all work with your skin’s natural chemistry to keep it looking and feeling great.

           When it comes to hair removal, Nufree® 4 men only is the best way to go for an effective and comfortable method. Because  Nufree® 4 men only is not a wax, it adheres to the hair’s oil perfectly and completely, allowing it to totally remove the hair shaft, bulb, and papilla without sticking to skin. This allows for a greater amount of time in between removals. Following your hair removal with  finipil® 4 men only is a perfect way to keep skin free of bacteria, shrink the open pores, prevent infection and ingrown hairs.  finipil® 4 men only is also an excellent choice for your day to day showering and shaving routines, because it works great in place of aftershave, is much more gentle than aftershave, kills 99.999% of germs, keeps skin healthy and moisturized, and clean after shaving.  finipil® 4 men only can also be used at the gym even before a workout, to reduce areas that come into contact with sweaty gym equipment or pool and locker room floors.

         These four simple products are just what you need to simplify your showering and grooming routine and de-clutter your bathroom or gym bag.  4 men only shampoo and body washNufree® 4 men only hair remover, and finipil® 4 men only moisturizing antiseptic cream work together to keep your showering and grooming routines quick and easy, while maintaining your skin’s natural pH mantel and keeping you clean and looking great.

By: Sara E. Goodwin

Choosing the Right Hair Removal Process for You

            For many, hair removal is a chore. There are a variety of methods available such as shaving, waxing, laser, electrolysis, threading or gadgets that are mechanical either cut or use springs or rubbing and depilatories. When considering which hair removal process is right for you, there are several factors to keep in mind: comfort, cost, and frequency.

            Perhaps something that we don’t always think of right away when choosing a hair removal method is the frequency. The cost to maintain the look is highly affected by the amount of time in between treatments. While shaving may be the easiest and least expensive choice, it needs to be done rather often depending on the type of hair you have. Shaving may be a quick solution to hair removal, but it is not always practical, especially on larger areas of the body.

            Laser hair removal and electrolysis are other options that will slow hair growth over time. Although both of these methods reduce the growth of hair over time, it involves many treatments and at a high cost. Many men use laser or electrolysis for the darker hair on the back, chest, and shoulders. It can be very effective in removing the hair in these areas, while increasing the time between treatments; with the hope of eventually eliminating the regrowth of hair. This process should only be done by a highly trained professional. If done incorrectly, it can cause permanent scarring or damage. Laser treatments and electrolysis are often followed up with finipil® in the salon or spa to soothe the skin and shrink the hair follicles. Clients are usually sent home with a bottle to use after showering to help keep the skin clean and sanitary.

            At home gadgets, glorified shavers or springs and exfoliating pumice can be painful and damage the hair shaft by tearing and breaking the hair, causing irritation at the follicle. It may even increase the need to repeat the process due to this damage to the hair follicle. Depilatory creams are chemicals that often have a strong odor and may not be appropriate or gentle enough for some skin. It isn’t a practical way to remove hair over a large area, and the chemicals in the creams don’t make them a good choice for long-term use.

            Finally, we have waxing. Many people turn to waxing as another way to remove hair from sensitive areas. However, traditional waxing can damage the hair shaft by ripping the hair, pulling the skin, and damaging the hair follicle. An excellent alternative to waxing is Nufree®. Nufree® is a non-wax, botanical substance that removes hair safely and gently without breaking or pulling at the hair or skin. Because Nufree® is not a wax, it doesn’t harden on the skin and adheres fully to the hair shaft. Waxes cannot remove hair as gently and completely as Nufree® can. The full hair shaft and a portion of the papilla are successfully removed when using Nufree®. Nufree® is an excellent choice for hair removal for men and women alike, especially in sensitive areas that are prone to ingrown hairs and infections of the hair follicles. Over time, Nufree® will also increase the time between treatments by slowing the regrowth process. It truly has many benefits to its use.

            With so many options available to us in hair removal, there is a lot to consider. However, the choice is simple when you want comfortable, effective, and affordable hair removal—Nufree® and finipil®. Not only will you safely remove hair with no pulling, tearing, or damage, but you will reduce hair growth over time and needs less treatments, too! Treat your skin to healthy hair removal with Nufree® and finipil®.

By: Sara E. Goodwin

Should Men Use Women’s Skincare Products?

            When it comes to skincare, not all products work for every skin type. There are many factors that contribute to our skin’s needs such skin types: oily, normal, or sensitive skin types. But what about men’s skin versus women’s skin? Should men use the same skincare products as women? Is there really a difference in what men need for their skin beyond just the masculine scent?

            Using products that are too harsh for sensitive skin types, or too greasy for oily skin, can cause breakouts and irritation. But men and women have even more differences. This is because your skin is affected by hormone levels. The presence, or absence, of male and female hormones (testosterone vs. estrogen and progesterone) significantly impacts the pH balance of the skin’s mantel. Men’s skin is generally thicker, as a result, and has larger pores that produce more perspiration and sebum. Men also have facial hair, which affects how the skin needs to be cleansed and moisturized.

            finipil® 4 men is a moisturizer, antimicrobial, aftershave, cleanser, and so much more made with the special balance of a man’s skin in mind. Used in salons, barbershops, and at home as a post hair removal skin treatment, finipil® 4 men is a wonderful product for men everywhere who have suffered from skin conditions such as razor burn, folliculitis, contact dermatitis, and more. Because it is an excellent antimicrobial moisturizer, it has a number of uses as part of a man’s skincare routine. It can be used on the face after shaving, which will shrink the pore, cool the skin, and prevent any bacteria from entering the follicle. It has a masculine scent that is derived from botanical ingredients. It also helps keep skin smelling clean because it kills odor causing bacteria on the skin that comes from perspiration. Many men use finipil® 4 men before or after exercise on various areas of their skin and to keep their feet clean in a locker room or pool environment, because it is so good at killing bacteria. It has so many uses, it is a product that every man needs.

            Nufree® 4 men only is another product that is specially designed for a man’s skin. Men’s hair follicles tend to be thicker and more active, causing the hair to appear coarser. Nufree® 4 men only is a non-wax, botanically based hair removal product that is designed with a man’s body chemistry in mind. It is a gentle and safe way for men to remove hair that they don’t want to shave. Because it doesn’t break the hair during removal, the follicle remains clean and free of irritation. This reduces the likelihood of ingrown hairs and follicle irritation. It will also slow the growth of the hair, which will lengthen the amount of time between removal. For larger areas, such as the back or shoulders, this product will benefit men who are looking for a pain free hair removal method that will not cause irritation or damage the skin. When used with finipil® 4 men, it has even more benefits!

            A man’s skin deserves the same amount of care as a woman’s, but the same products don’t always work. It’s most important to find a product line that fits your skin’s needs, while working to help you maintain a healthy pH for your skin’s mantel. Harsh exfoliation, abrasive chemicals, and improper hair removal can cause irritated, inflamed skin. Gentle, botanical products such as finipil® 4 men and Nufree® 4 men by Equibal Labs provide just the right balance to work with a man’s skin chemistry. You’ll notice the difference!

By: Sara E. Goodwin

You like the look, your partner hates the stubble… Get Clean, Get Real

           The scruffy beard is hot right now. It’s everywhere you look, and it looks good. But what about how it feels? Let’s face it, a scratchy, unkempt beard just isn’t appealing. Whether you’re trying to grow a beard or you’re just a guy who needs a shave every 8 hours, you need a way to maintain the look you love while keeping a smooth, comfortable feel that is appealing to your partner? There is a product that can do all of this and so much more: finipil® 4 men.

           finipil® 4 men is a powerhouse of a product that has many uses…just for men! It is not only an excellent antiseptic that kills 99.999% of germs, but it also acts as a coolant for the skin, as well as an effective moisturizer. finipil® 4 men was designed especially for a man’s skin, too. It contains essential oils for a masculine fragrance, making it an excellent aftershave lotion.

           Originally designed as a post-hair removal antiseptic, finipil® keeps the skin clean and the delicate hair follicles of the face free of debris that can lead to redness and infection. By cleaning the follicle and shrinking the pores (follicle walls) after shaving, finipil® helps to keep facial hair soft and skin smooth. It will also prevent razor burn, chaffing and razor bumps that cause uncomfortable shaving.

           Beards collect dirt and bacteria, there’s no doubt about it. As we enter the warmer months, in particular, sweat leaves the hair on your face even dirtier. Odor causing bacteria from your skin’s oils and sweat can be kept at bay with finipil® 4 men by killing that bacteria. finipil® 4 men will prevent razor bumps and painful ingrown hairs. The bumps or blemishes that can result from shaving is actually the buildup of sebum in the hair follicle and can cause scar tissue to develop, if not dealt with correctly. finipil® 4 men will gently bring that buildup to the surface and act as an astringent to clean and shrink the pore.

           The permanent 5 o’clock shadow that some men develop can also be visibly decreased when using finipil® 4 men if used before and after shaving. This is actually the hair shaft just below the surface that gives the appearance of a dark shadow. Whether you want to reduce that shadowy look, or strengthen and clean your skin, finipil® 4 men can help.

           finipil® 4 men is not only for maintaining your facial hair, though. It is truly beneficial anywhere for healthy skin. Because it has such wonderful cooling properties, it can be used on sunburns to cool and soothe hot, delicate skin, while also protecting it from infection.

           finipil® 4 men is very beneficial to active men who want to protect their feet after the pool, workout, or in a locker room. The antibacterial properties not only help prevent bacteria from entering any damaged skin, but kill odor-causing bacteria, keeping the skin under sporting equipment clean and fresh.

           finipil® 4 men is a must-have product that is for men of all ages and professions; from construction worker to executive, finipil® 4 men has uses that will benefit you. Ask your barber or stylist at your next visit for finipil® 4 men so you can start caring for your facial hair and promote healthier skin.

By: Sara E. Goodwin 

Non-Wax Hair Removal with Nufree® – Alternative to Wax Hair Removal!

Hair removal comes in many forms. Aestheticians know what to recommend for their clients with varying needs. However, when trying to choose between traditional wax and a non-wax hair removal treatment for your salon, the answer is simple: Nufree® is the best choice for your clients’ needs. Nufree® stainless steel kit is the most sanitary and gentle form of hair removal available for your salon. When paired with finipil®, its comfort and antibacterial benefits can’t be beat.

Traditional wax-based hair removal products evaporate when heated. This can result in a dramatic loss in product as the wax sits in a warmer. Nufree® won’t evaporate when heated because it is a botanical triglyceride that is totally hydro-phobic. This is important because it cannot harbor bacteria of any kind. Using Nufree® saves money in the long run, because you won’t experience the amount of loss that comes from the wax-based removers. It is self-preserving as well and can be reheated, while retaining its antimicrobial properties for years.

Additionally, waxes harden or evaporate on the skin and can tear the skin and break the hairs upon removal. Nufree® is a proven epilade that is all botanical and contains no wax! Nufree® remains a liquid when applied to the skin; it never hardens, meaning it can be erased should your application need correction. Its temperature is regulated by the time it touches your skin, creating maximum comfort for clients. Nufree® doesn’t tear the skin or break hairs because it adheres to the oils of the hair and doesn’t stick on the skin’s surface. There is no need to pre-dry the skin with preparation products, such as is the case with a waxing, because Nufree® will not stick to normal skin. This decreases the risk for irritation and infection of the pores or hair follicles. Nufree® is a self- preserving antimicrobial/antibacterial so it is safe and germ-free! Using finipil® after Nufree® hair removal will further reduce irritation, cool and soothe the skin, and provide antibacterial protection to the empty follicles, further reducing the chances for bumps and ingrown hairs. Nufree® was designed over 40 years ago for plastic surgeons who needed to have a gentle method of hair removal at incision sites. With this in mind, Nufree® was designed to keep skin healthy, yet effectively remove hair.

A stainless-steel kit is preferred for use with Nufree® because it is the most sanitary way to use the product and is impervious to all bacteria. When applied using the stainless steel applicator, that is kept heated, you can ensure that do not pick up any bacteria from the client’s skin through drag on application versus porous applicators. You will successfully use a very thin amount of Nufree® product which is the proper way to remove hair. The stainless steel is fully sanitized using an EPA approved cleaner and heat. Available through Equibal Labs, this stainless is of the same quality used by medical professionals and uses a hospital recommended sanitizer.  By using the Nufree® line of hair removal products, including stainless steel applicators, warmers, and sanitizers, you are providing your clients with the highest quality, most gentle, non-wax hair removal product that is available on the market today. 

By: Sara E. Goodwin   

Fad or Fact? The Many Uses and Benefits of Witch Hazel

            Witch Hazel is a product derived from the leaves and bark of the plant, Hamamelis virginiana. This shrub is native to many regions of North America, and its uses and benefits were first introduced to us as far back as the colonial times from the Native American Indians.

           There is not enough space to tell of its wonderful properties and uses. Native Americans used this wonderful plant’s properties for painful skin ulcers and bruises. Together with early settlers they all swore by the power of its branches for divining water or water “witching”. But that’s not all; used for minor burns, an astringent for enlarged pores, open follicle (sebaceous) cysts, minor cuts or abrasions for its homeostatic qualities on minor cuts or abrasions. As well as many sorts of skin irritations, insect bites and stings, and most important regulating the pH of the skin mantle. In regulating the pH after cleansing, all products after wards can do their thing.

            In skin care the most important step is keeping the pH mantle balanced. There is a lot of talk about microbiome. Inside and outside. Well that all starts with pH, it’s not new in Chemistry, the pH is always important when balancing a formula for what its expectant result is. If the pH of the skin is not balanced after cleansing, the next product in the system is not going to live up to its expectations. The same as balancing the inside of your microbiome (probiotics etc.) Witch Hazel is used not only as a main ingredient but also a supplemental ingredient. Your pH mantle (skin’s mantle) is what protects you from irritation and bacteria. Your skin (all 2000 square inches) is a major organ that protects all the workings inside your body. So ever since North America had inhabitants this plant has been doing its job when properly used.

        The most common use for witch hazel is to apply it topically on the skin as an astringent. This is because of the wonderful anti-inflammatory properties of the plant’s extracts. Its uses extend to other areas of the body, such as to soothe sensitive skin on the scalp or other areas of the body.

         Because witch hazel has such potent anti-inflammatory properties, it is excellent to use on skin that is prone to acne, as well. It acts to reduce the ability of the bacteria on the skin from balancing the pH mantle. It works gently, without irritating the already-inflamed skin to cleanse. It is an important ingredient within Blemfree™, to balance the treatment of acne.

         With its many uses as a treatment to relieve many skin conditions, it is a product that has a lasting place in the health and beauty industry. It is often added to many other products, in addition to the manufacturer’s proprietary blend of ingredients, to gently soothe and cleanse the skin.

         Although it has not been studied as a means to cure any medical condition, witch hazel has been regarded for ages as a natural remedy to soothe sensitive and irritated skin. It is gentle enough to use on any skin type and is derived from nature. Clinical research has not been done to show any direct cures for other conditions, though researchers are hopeful to find additional benefits to treat other inflammatory-related issues. Witch hazel, when used as a topical astringent, has many benefits and uses on the skin. Its long history of use shows that it is not merely a fad, but a truly beneficial botanical ingredient.

By: Normajean Fusco

Co-Author: Sara E. Goodwin   

Is it Important to Know Where Your Beauty Products Come From? What to Know About Shelf Life and Reputation

            We are fortunate to live in a time when we, the consumer, have as many choices for beauty products as we can ever want in a lifetime. There are new companies that appear on the market, in stores and local pop-ups, selling the newest concoction of oils and lotions, all the time. While this is an awesome opportunity to find the right product for your skin needs, it is also important that we do a little research before deciding to try a new product or buy from an unknown company.

            We all have that go-to brand that we trust for our cosmetic and skincare needs. That favorite mascara, the lotion you’ve used for years, the product you must have as soon as you run out of it. Chances are, that brand has been on the market for some time, and with good cause; they have a reputation that shows they care about the products they are putting out on the shelves for their customers. That’s not to say that a homemade soap at your local craft fair isn’t trustworthy (my mom is a sucker for those home crafted items), but you really have no guarantee or background knowledge to go by. I would be hesitant to buy a product with no prior knowledge of the manufacturer. When we choose our skincare products, we want to know that the company stands behind their products and uses safe practices in their production and research.

            Equibal Labs is a company that has been in the business for four decades, and stands behind every product they develop. Their reputation in the beauty industry is unparalleled, giving customers the peace of mind that they are choosing a product that is backed by research and reputation.

            Additionally, checking the shelf-life of your products, from cosmetics to soaps and lotions, is important. This is particularly important to note with products, such as sunscreens, because the active ingredients could be expired. In that case, you aren’t going to have the same effectiveness as you normally would. Most cosmetics, while they don’t have a specific expiration date, should still be changed every couple of months, to prevent the growth of bacteria and keep the products as fresh as possible on your skin. If you are using a product that contains an “active ingredient”, make sure you look for an expiration date to ensure that you have the best results possible.

            Knowing what your products’ ingredients derive from, if they are natural or chemical-based, is just as important as knowing about the company that you’re buying them from. Before choosing a product for your skincare or beauty routine, do a little research into the company and the ingredients to make sure you have the best experience for your money.

By: Sara E. Goodwin   

Adult Acne: Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It

           At one point or another in our lives, most of us have had some kind of acne. It’s almost a rite of passage as we battle the awkward adolescent and teen years. But what happens when it doesn’t go away once you’ve entered your twenties? Worse, yet, what happens when you wake up at age thirty-something and still have a breakout? Frustrating, to say the least, adult acne is something many of us still deal with well into middle age. It happens for some of the same reasons as teen acne, but not always, nor is it treated the same way. Let’s talk about why it happens and what you can do to make it go away.

            First off, what’s going on? Well, just as in our younger years, acne’s primary causes include clogged pores; clogged by bacteria, dirt, and debris, the sebaceous glands continue to produce oil that gets trapped in the pore. This can lead to pimples.  Dr. Pimple Popper, Sandra Lee, talks about how pimples form and the many ways she helps her patients with everything from acne to major lipomas on her  TLC show, as well as her well-known YouTube channel. She educates her viewers and subscribers on the different types of acne problems, common misconceptions, and treatments.

            One thing that Dr. Pimple Popper warns against doing, however, is just what her name implies! Don’t pop your pimples! While she may be famous for her graphic extractions, keep in mind that she is a medical doctor, doing these extractions in a sterile environment, while wearing gloves. This is important because, when you pop a pimple, your fingernails damage your skin, can cause scarring, and actually can cause further infection to the pore. It might be fun to watch (for those of you who are into that sort of thing), but it is not something you should try at home.

           Acne vulgaris, or common acne, is different than cystic acne, which is more severe and treated very differently. Acne vulgaris can strike for a number of reasons and is often brought on by hormones, stress, and bacteria on the skin. As adults, we are just as susceptible to these problems as adolescents. In fact, stress and hormones can be even more out of whack than in our younger years. Most of us also struggle with lack of sleep, in addition to those problems, which can all contribute to troubled skin issues.

           Keeping your skin clear can start with things as simple as cleaning it properly, but not with chemicals or acids that may be too harsh for your skin (causing more breakouts). Treatments are also often prescribed for women as oral contraceptives, which help regulate imbalanced hormonal issues. Getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and caring for your skin are also extremely important.

           Exercise, while great for our bodies, can cause pores to become clogged with dirt and bacteria from sweat that can be exacerbated by tight athletic clothing. If not cleansed properly, this skin will be more prone to breakouts, as that bacteria sits on the skin, and the oil from the sebaceous glands becomes trapped.

           Blemfree™, a product line designed by Equibal Labs, works to keep the skin’s pores clear of bacteria and debris without over cleansing the skin and causing further irritation. Blemfree™ effectively cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes the skin, to treat adult and teen acne alike. Adding a product line, such as  Blemfree™, to your skincare routine, in conjunction with attention to your overall health and well-being, can help you achieve clearer skin.

           In summary, acne knows no age limit. It does not discriminate. Keep your skin healthy and clear, at any age, by remembering the basics of treating your skin right from the inside, out. Dermatologists and aestheticians alike will agree, managing your whole health is important to achieving healthy, clear skin. Should it be more stubborn, see your dermatologist for prescription treatments. You are not alone in this battle! Dr. Pimple Popper has a small army of followers that will vouch for that!

By: Sara E. Goodwin

Sources:

Dr. Pimple Popper YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgrsF4TYwmrV0QsXb8AoeHQ

“Overview of the Types and Stages of Acne”

https://www.verywellhealth.com/types-of-acne-15762

What You Need to Know About CBD Oil in Beauty Products- Just a Fad or Here to Stay?

            CBD oil (cannabidiol), one of the extracts of the cannabis sativa (hemp) plant, has become widely popular since the legalization and normalization of cannabis with the 2018 Farm Bill. It seems, these days, that CBD oil is widely available in all kinds of products for relief from anxiety and other ailments, in addition to its uses in health and beauty products. So what does this seemingly cure-all substance actually do? Does it have real benefits in your beauty products or is it just a fad? First, let’s talk about what it is and where it comes from before we make a decision.

            As I mentioned earlier, CBD oil is an extract of the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike its other extract, commonly referred to as THC, CBD oil is non-psychoactive (meaning, it cannot get you high). People have heralded the many benefits of the hemp plant for years, however, it wasn’t until recently with the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the controlled substance list, that we really began to see it become more normalized.

            One of the biggest benefits of CBD oil is that it is an effective anti-inflammatory, both topically and internally. The topical benefits are why we are seeing CBD oil pop up in a variety of beauty products, such as creams, foundations, serums, and mascaras.  Its anti-inflammatory benefits make it a useful addition to skincare products because, they claim, it can help with everything from imperfections, dark circles, and wrinkles. Although none of this has been proven through long-term research, yet, consumers seem to be sold on it. Researchers hope to show the benefits it will have to skin conditions such as dry skin, psoriasis, and eczema. CBD oil has also been added to salves and balms used to soothe sore muscles.

            While there are many skin creams and serums that now include CBD oil, it can also be found in eye makeup, such as mascara. Because it is high in fatty acids and it is also vegan substitute for beeswax, it is said to improve the quality and volume of eyelashes. CBD oil is also seen in hair products for the same reasons. In foundations, it claims to help even out imperfections.

            So, what do you think? Here to stay or just another beauty trend that will fade away? We have yet to see the long-term researched benefits, although we know that it has been used for many years before it was deregulated. Now that researchers are able to study its uses, we will find out if cannabidiols have a beneficial place in the beauty industry. With so many options out there on the market, one word of caution is to be careful about what you put on your skin! Some companies that sell these products are more reputable than others. Do some homework before you decide to add anything to your skincare routine. As always check your shelf life and maintain sanitary practice. And, as of yet, there is no magical fountain of youth. Whatever you do, love the skin you’re in!

By: Sara E. Goodwin   

Sources:

https://www.health.com/beauty/cbd-hemp-oil-cannabis-beauty-products

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarabrittanysomerset/2018/09/18/origins-infiltrates-the-cannabis-space-with-a-face-mask/#7bf0e30d78af

https://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/what-is-cbd-oil/

finipil®: 101 Uses for finipil® and Counting

            A true game-changer in the beauty industry, finipil® is a water-based antibacterial with seemingly endless uses. finipil® was carefully formulated as an anti-irritant for the skin that also kills 99.999% of bacteria. Because it protects and relieves irritated skin, customers and clinicians have found multiple benefits to using this product.

            finipil®’s anti-inflammatory properties make it incredibly beneficial for use after all methods of hair removal, because it will reduce swelling and protect the skin’s pores. Traditional waxing can tear the skin and damage the capillaries, which can put the skin at risk for infection and ingrown hairs. It prevents both of these problems by keeping bacteria at bay and forming a protective barrier around the open hair follicle, while shrinking the pores. Similarly, it is used to soothe skin after electrolysis. finipil® will provide immediate relief to irritated skin after hair removal of all kinds, including traditional and electric razors. Men have experienced the benefits of finipil® after shaving, because finipil® 4 men only can be used in place of an aftershave product. finipil® is safer because it cools and shrinks the pores while also creating an antibacterial barrier for the skin without causing additional irritation that other products can. With electric shaving, the razor removes coarse hair near the hair follicle and can result in razor burn.  Applying finipil® afterwards will soothe the skin immediately and prevent razor burns and bumps. The manly scent from essential oils makes it pleasing, and there’s no need for aftershave as it is toning the skin as well.

            finipil® can also be used for protection from athlete’s foot and other forms of fungus and bacteria that athletes and exercise enthusiasts may be prone to. Using finipil® on your feet, particularly in the locker room, will offer protection from the bacteria from entering any openings or cracks in the skin. finipil® will also kill bacteria that causes odor! Excessive perspiration can cause bacteria to enter the skin’s pores that open up during the process. finipil® will protect as well as kill bacteria to prevent the smell.

           finipil® was also designed to provide relief and protection to burns. Because finipil® is water-based, not petroleum based as some antibacterial ointments are, finipil® is safe to use on burns. It will cool and soothe the skin, while protecting it from infection. It is wonderful to use on chapped, chafed, sunburned, dry, cracked skin to help keep bacteria out and calm the skin. Additionally, finipil® has uses in treating contact dermatitis in these same ways. Practically any skin issue that arises from irritation or damaged hair follicles, can be treated with finipil®.

            What’s great about finipil® is not only that you can find 101 uses for it on your skin, but also that you don’t need to use a lot for it to get the job done. A small amount of the product will go a long way, saving you money! With so many benefits, it’s a no-brainer to include finipil® as part of your skincare regimen, as well as a vital product to have on hand in your home to help soothe and protect the skin in so many versatile ways. Give finipil® a try and experience what so many have already come to know and love!

By: Sara E. Goodwin

Trust Your Acne Treatment Plan with Blemfree™

With so many acne treatment products available over the counter, we must be very careful about what we choose to use on the delicate skin of our faces. Not all products are created equally, and not all are intended to treat the same kind of acne problems! You may actually be causing more harm than good, or even negating the effects of your products, by not knowing what you are using on your skin and how it will interact with your body’s chemistry. Products with a gentle, natural approach, that work with your body’s pH to cleanse the skin and prevent breakouts, are the best approach to solving your acne problems.

Most acne treatments include washes, toners and creams containing acids that can be very harsh and drying to your skin. Over-drying the skin can lead to further irritation and inflammation of the pores, which can exacerbate your skin issues. Blemfree™ is designed to be gentle, non-invasive, and a long-lasting solution to your acne problems. Blemfree™ is the most natural acne treatment line of products that is designed to work with your body’s natural chemistry to cleanse, tone, and nourish your skin. Our skin has a natural acid mantle that has its own pH. The natural products in Blemfree™ are so gentle, yet effective, that they do not disturb your skin’s pH, but work to restore its natural balance.

The Blemfree™ Primary System consists of a concentrated, gentle cleanser, a toner and balancer, and an all-day nourishing lotion. The Concentrated Cleanser is designed to give you a gentle clean with just a small amount of product. It gently and effectively removes dirt and debris from your skin to keep pores clear. The Blemfree™ Cleansing Spheres are used in conjunction with the cleaner as a gentle exfoliator for the delicate skin of the face. Rather than harsh exfoliators that can scratch and tear skin, leaving the pores open to bacteria and infection, the Cleansing Spheres are made from natural jojoba oil that gently roll away dirt on the skin. This extremely gentle method of exfoliation cleanses the dirt and residue on your face without scratching.

The Blemfree™ Toner & Balancer restores and balances your skin’s pH level after the cleansing step. The natural extracts in the toner, work to balance the skin’s mantle as well as keep any bacteria at bay. Finally, the Blemfree™ All-Day Lotion is a well-balanced nourishing lotion for acne-prone skin. It won’t clog pores, but also won’t over-dry your skin. Once these steps have been followed, it is important that no other acids be used in conjunction with these products. It is safe to use under your makeup, once the lotion has been absorbed.

In addition to using the Blemfree™ Primary System for acne treatment, we can also make sure to pay attention to our diet to help treat acne skin problems. Eating a balanced diet and drinking a sufficient amount of water, will help to flush out toxins from the body, and balance the body from the inside.

It is important to remember that there is no overnight cure for acne, just as there is no magic weight loss diet. You must care for your skin every day, twice a day, to achieve healthier, balanced skin. The gentle, natural products in the Blemfree™ line, are designed for long-lasting results. Try this different approach to treating your acne.

By: Sara E. Goodwin

finipil® and Winter Skin Care: How can I protect my skin?

One question that arises during the colder months is: “How can I protect my skin?” The winter season and its’ cold temperatures and harsh conditions can cause your skin’s natural barriers to break down. We often forget that our skin is the largest organ in the body. It provides protection, insulation and temperature regulation, as well as vitamin synthesis, absorption, and elimination. With so many processes involved, there’s a lot to be vigilant about. Your skin can be affected by so many environmental factors, which can easily lead to a multitude of irritations and other problems. So, what should you do to find soothing relief when irritations happen and, more importantly, what can be done to prevent these irritations?

Staying well hydrated and using a tried and true skincare program that includes cleansing, toning, and nourishing has been recommended for years to maintain skin health and appearance. But what if I told you we were missing something? One key step that is missing from most skincare routines is protecting the delicate, exposed areas of our skin which can become easily dried out and damaged during the winter months. There is a product that can help protect and soothe damaged skin: finipil®.

Not only does finipil® protect your skin from bacteria, pore-clogging debris, contact dermatitis, and fungus; it also provides relief from redness, swelling, burns, chafing, chapping, wind burn etc. Protecting damaged skin and alleviating these skin problems is a necessary step toward healthy skin. Extreme winter weather, dry air from heated homes and offices, and frequent hand washing during cold and flu season can all cause dry skin, which is a perfect way for irritants to enter and break down your skin’s natural protective barriers.

Whether you have dermatitis, itching, flaking, dryness, eczema, cracked cuticles, or soreness from chafing, finipil® will get the job done. finipil® is a water-based antiseptic cream and a true game-changer in the beauty industry. First used by professionals after hair removal methods, finipil® became so well-loved that clients began taking it home after the salon. There are so many uses for a product that kills bacteria, moisturizes and protects. In fact, there are 101 known uses for finipil®. It’s highly versatile and provides comfort for the most irritating and unsightly skin problems. 

Even more benign issues like a new body piercing, electrolysis, laser hair removal and chapped lips are soothed with the help of finipil®. There simply isn’t a better way to receive soothing comfort and relief for any of your skin issues. Your skin is a vital organ, and it is the first thing the world sees when you step out into it. Try adding finipil® to your skincare routine and feel better in your skin.

By: Sara E. Goodwin 

Nutrients that Are Essential to Skincare

Hello Everyone!

When it comes to what we use, both internally and externally, it is wise to be mindful of what is applied. Today I will discuss with you all the importance of nutrition; as it applies to both topical and internal skincare. There are two primary classifications of nutrients: macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients are: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Micro-nutrients are: Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium, etc. Applying a macro and micro nutrient approach to your skincare, moreover, lifestyle is the key to clear skin. We know that healthy eating habits are great at subsidizing that but if we paid more attention to micro-nutrients, we would experience even better results. In my personal experience, one of the most imperative micro-nutrients is Magnesium. It is responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions. To begin, it is absorbed best when consumed with Calcium, another important mineral. Magnesium is particularly volatile; if it comes into contact with offending substances, such as sugar and caffeine, it is canceled out. It assists in tissue health and formation, it is an anti-inflammatory and it is arguably the most salient mineral to ensure your skin’s health. I am also a strong advocate for Vitamin A. This is the best liver cleanser around through it’s incredible ability to eliminate toxins. If you are a skincare aficionado, you may recall the prescription drug Accutane, which is essentially an extremely high dosage of Vitamin A. There is a wealth of products on the market that add these nutrients to their lists of ingredients, it is always smart to ensure that you are ingesting and applying any product with the approval of your general physician and/or dermatologist.

Be Well,

Sabine

Making Use of Skincare Tools

Hello there!

When we imagine tools, we think of repairs; we think of items such as hammers, saws and the like. We of course immediately think of the local hardware store. It comes down to shaping up what needs improvement and using items that will help whatever is in disrepair or in need of a ‘face lift’ to look it’s best. Here’s a concept: imagine applying that idea; the usage of a machine or tool to improve the look of your skin. By now you may have seen, heard or even used one of these. Personally, I totally believe in these inventions. Skincare tools and machines such as: stone rollers (usually made of jade or rose quartz) facial steamers, silicone scrubber pads for exfoliation (not for the ticklish!), UV red light machines are all apart of an well-equipped skincare arsenal. Using a silicone-based scrubbing pad during the cleansing phase of the Blemfree system, is a great way to get a deep clean and make the skin feel naturally tingly fresh. I would like to focus today on stone rollers. I have a jade roller at home and it is wonderful. The purpose of one is to calm and massage the skin. Crystals have been used for healing for thousands of years. Rollers are popular with Estheticians that are practitioners of Gua Sha, a method of healing that is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. For at home use, it’s recommended that the user have a clean face. Then you put on the toner and other actives and use the jade or rose quarts roller to enhance the penetration of the cream, oil or even facial mask on the skin. Ever try a gel mask? Get one and use it with your roller, you will love it! You will feel and look replenished. Rollers even decreases puffiness and bagginess. To take it to another level, put the roller in the refrigerator. The icy feel will tighten up your pores and have your complexion looking mint. I highly recommend the rollers, they’re great for beginner skincare enthusiasts to licensed professional with years of experience.

Be well,

Sabine

Sun Protection 101

Hello All!

It’s officially, unofficially summer! And with that it’s imperative we discuss how the weather heating up will impact our skincare routines. Before I even get into it, I hope that you are already using a moisturizer with SPF (at least SPF 30) in it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY of the year. The sun’s rays are shining and active throughout the seasons (and are even stronger during the winter months too). It is paramount that you are taking this measure of protection. Unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays causes premature aging (wrinkles, sun spots) and damages the DNA of the epidermis which can lead to very serious skin diseases. According to American Academy of Dermatology, high exposure to the sun is strongly correlated to various types of skin cancer. Here’s some knowledge I have gleaned over the years:

  1. Limit your time in the sun. The hours of 10 am- 2 pm are when the sun is at apex- or the highest point in the sky; it is the time when you run the highest risk of burning.
  2. SPF 30 or higher is your best bet to maximize your chances of not getting a sunburn, some SPF’s go as high as 100. Also, look for formulas that are Broad Spectrum; all this means is that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVB causes sunburn, which is literally injury to the top layer of the skin; UVA penetrates the skin more deeply, causing premature aging, which is something we do not want.
  3. There are two main types of active ingredients found in sunscreen. Physical blockers, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide , reflect light and prevent it from being absorbed into the skin. Chemical blockers, like avobenzone and oxybenzone, absorb damaging rays, ensuring they aren’t absorbed by the skin. Look for formulas that have both physical and chemical blockers for complete protection.

Make sure you are mindful of your sunscreen use this summer and every day going forward. It will keep your skin happy, healthy and drastically reduce your odds of developing serious, life-threatening skin conditions. Be well and enjoy!

In good health,

Sabine

Quench Your Skin

Hello Everyone!

We made it through the winter and the summer season is inching closer and closer! I hope you’ve been diligent with your Blemfree routine, doing all you can to keep your skin clear. However, the clarity of the skin is one thing- complexion and radiance are quite another. That sought-after glow, that luminescence from within is very much achievable with the right moisturizer. It doesn’t matter if your skin is oily, sensitive, etc you absolutely must use a moisturizer, day and night. And there are many kinds: gel-based or creamy, hyaluronic acid (Sodium Hyaluronate) and vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and tons more! To start, it’s a smart idea to swap moisturizers on a seasonal basis: the gel-based moisturizers are good for the warmer months where the skin tends to produce more sweat and sebum. Whereas during the colder months, skin tends to be drier therefore a luxe, creamy formula works well.

Be mindful of ingredients, if possible always opt for natural. I love when a moisturizer’s active ingredients are Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice,
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract; these are wonderful, plant-derived components and are excellent for the skin! Look for these ingredients on the labels. Also, be wary of harsh chemicals, certain alcohols can be extremely harsh on the skin, causing sensitivity and dryness. You may benefit from visiting a skin-care specialist at a department store or a beauty store to see which moisturizer would be the perfect fit for you! And of course, with the recommendation and approval of your dermatologist. Be well.

Best,

Sabine

Post-Acne Hyperpigmentation: What it is and How to Prevent it

Hello Everyone!

The topic of skincare is ever-expanding; the practice, the methods, the products and modes of application. Everyone gets pimples, even babies! And if you may refer to previous posts, adults too! Acne does not discriminate when it starts and it certainly doesn’t leave without a little scar to literally mark it’s territory. You may have wondered or been exasperated at how even after the redness and inflammation of the bumps reduced, you still had dark spots. This is caused by a harmless and common medical condition named hyperpigmentation. This occurs when excess melanin, the brown pigment that creates normal skin color deposits itself in the skin. People of any race and color are subject to it, too. Your best course of action to prevent yourself from getting dark spots is to follow your Blemfree routine diligently. One particular item that will stave off blemishes of all kinds are the Cleansing Spheres. Since they are an abrasive, mechanical exfoliation is an excellent measure against any bumps or marks! Make sure you’re drinking enough water, be sure you are using a quality sunscreen with the suggestion of a dermatologist and stick to your Blemfree routine and you won’t have to worry!

-Sabine