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khivey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khivey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 13 2015 at 10:55am
May I suggest that you use Aloe Vera gel as a sunscreen? It is natural if you get the 99% and it is fabulous! 
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Benni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 28 2015 at 8:03pm
Hi Sunshine & Khivey;

Sorry, I have not been on BHM for a while.

I just so happens that I did a facial peel (LA) this morning...30%
It has been quite a few months since I have done a peel.   After rinsing, I just applied Aloe Vera Gel with Tea Tree Oil. I have not been using Retin-A for more than a week due to peeling.
Too scared to use Retin-A and do a Peel without having a few days lapse in between.

For me, LA has helped significantly in removing my permatan. There are still a few stubborn areas like my temples and cheek bones that are 'resistant'.   They seem light some days, then the darkness reappears.   I know that this is just the depth of sun damage coming to the surface as the outer layers are removed. I will just keep working on it.

I will restart Retin-A on Monday,   and most likely do another facial peel in approx 2 weeks.

Really like using AVG on my face after washing to help restore pH among its other benefits.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaraBiston Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 18 2015 at 4:38am
For better skin I always use Dermpura facial cleanser. It protect my skin from environmental damaged  and provide innovative skin care treatment to my skin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 13 2015 at 1:19pm

Hyaluronic Acid Serum to Make at Home: Easy Anti-Aging DIY


Just a few weeks ago I gave you the inside scoop on how to make your own anti-aging Vitamin C Serum with an easy-to-follow recipe. Today we are making its anti-aging sidekick: a DIY Hyaluronic Acid Serum that pairs perfectly with your Vitamin C Serum and will leave your skin glowing (and loving you) for days.

If you aren’t familiar with what Hyaluronic Acid can do for you skin, you need to be. This highly sought after skincare ingredient holds 1,000 times its weight in water, which gives your skin a more youthful appearance by increasing hydration. When you increase hydration, your skin becomes soft and supple, and your fine lines and wrinkles become less apparent.

Now that you know what Hyaluronic Acid does, you can understand why leading skincare brands use it in their products; it’s an incredible ingredient. That’s also why people spend $50 to $100+ on top anti-aging skincare products that contain it. With that said, this DIY version is just as affective, and you will only spend a fraction of the price.

I think we can all agree–that’s pretty awesome!

So, if you want to know how to make your own DIY Hyaluronic Acid Serum, here are the details:


What you will need:

1 gram Hyaluronic Acid Powder

3.5 oz. Cold distilled water

½ tsp. Glycerin

1 Green Tea Bag (natural anti-oxidant)

3 Drops of Lavender Oil

1 Small glass bottle (I had an empty one from a previous skincare product)



1. Steep the green tea into hot distilled water for 5 minutes and then allow the water to cool. For quick cooling, I placed it in the freezer for a few minutes.

2. Next, mix in the hyaluronic acid powder. It will appear chunky, but this is normal.

3. Now add the glycerin and lavender oil, and pour it all into the glass container.

4. Give your serum a good shake and place it in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the ingredients to gel together.

Now that you have your serum, you can use it on your face in the morning and evening prior to applying your moisturizer. This serum will last you a month refrigerated, and you should have plenty more product to replenish your supplies afterwards.

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Benni View Drop Down
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Boosting Hyaluronic Acid Production

I do not want to depend entirely on supplements and pills for hyaluronic acid. I wanted to know whether some foods contain hyaluronic acid or whether some foods can encourage the body to produce more hyaluronic acid naturally. According to the researchers, vegetables do not contain hyaluronic acid, but several vitamins and minerals help the body boost production of hyaluronic acid. The vegetables are the same ones that nutritionists have always recommended we eat.


Connective Tissues and Chicken Combs

Since we find hyaluronic acid in the connective tissues of animals, we can eat the connective tissues of animals to provide our bodies with hyaluronic acid. The chicken's skin, whether attached or in a broth, contains a high source of hyaluronic acid. If people do not want chicken broth, then they can utilize tendons, bones, or skin of most animals to make a broth. They just boil the parts in water and drink the broth for the hyaluronic acid.

Chicken combs contain 60 to 70% hyaluronic acid. In central Asia, the Soviet Koreans make a delicacy from the chicken combs. Unfortunately, the molecules for hyaluronic acid become too long for the body to absorb in the intestinal tract. However, the Japanese developed a process to reduce the molecular weight so the body can absorb it.


Our bodies need magnesium to synthesize hyaluronic acid. Thus, we must eat foods rich in magnesium. Vegetable sources include asparagus, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, green lettuce, peanuts, potatoes, soy, spinach, and carrots. We talk about carrots further under retinoids. Some fruits are rich in magnesium, including apples, bananas, melons, oranges, papayas, peaches, and pears, pineapples, strawberries, and tomatoes. Finally, several beans and nuts are good sources for magnesium, such as kidney beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, peanuts, and almonds.


Grape skins and red wine contain resveratrol – a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens behave like estrogen in our bodies, helping to produce more hyaluronic acid. Resveratrol can boost the body's production of hyaluronic acid.


Vitamin A refers to a number of related compounds that we call retinoids. They include retinol, retinal and retinoic acid. Some researchers view retinoids as potential anti-cancer and anti-aging compounds. Furthermore, retinoic acid encourages the body to produce more hyaluronic acid, potentially doubling the hyaluronic acid in the skin's epidermis.

Although people can take synthetic and supplemental forms, experts think getting essential nutrients through a daily diet is the best way to meet the body's needs. We can easily obtain retinoids through a well-balanced diet because they occur naturally in several animal and plant sources. Retinoids aid proper vision, resist infection, regulate gene expression, and facilitate bone growth and red blood cell production. On the other hand, people deficient in retinoid can suffer from night blindness, skin problems, and a weakened immune system. Dieticians recommend adults age 19 and older take 3,000 international units for men and 2,333 international units for women.

Scientists and experts are studying the role of retinoids in preventing cancer. For example, several research studies show retinoids can prevent normal cells from becoming cancer cells. However, people taking vitamin A supplements may not reduce their risk of cancer. Researchers believe the consumption of foods rich in vitamin A reduces the risk of several cancers and prevent diseases because the retinoids work with other nutrients in fruits and vegetables.

Animal and Dairy Sources of Retinoids

Several animal sources can provide a substantial amount of retinoids with the richest sources being beef liver. Other sources having considerably less include eggs, cod liver oil, shrimp, fish, fortified milk, butter, cheddar cheese, and Swiss cheese. For instance, 100 grams of pan-fired beef liver contains 26,088 international units of vitamin A, which exceeds the daily requirement greatly. On the other hand, one large egg provides 303 international units of vitamin A.

Plant Sources for Retinoids

The body can convert carotenoids, such as beta-carotene into retinoids. For example, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, pumpkins, cantaloupes, apricots, peaches, and mangoes contain significant amounts of beta-carotene, thus retinoids. Dark leafy greens such as broccoli, kale, and spinach also contain significant sources of beta-carotene even though the green chlorophyll masks the orange and yellow from the beta-carotene. For instance, one-half cup of canned sweet potatoes provides 1,848 international units of vitamin A. A one-half cup of cooked spinach provides 1,572 international units of vitamin A, while the same serving of broccoli provides 200 international units.


Soybeans contain high levels of phytoestrogens. (Did you notice estrogen in the name?) Soybean products include soybean curd, soy cheese, soy ice cream, soymilk, soy yogurt, tempeh, and tofu.

The Yuzurihara Diet

The villagers ate a rich diet in satsumaimo (a type of sweet potato), satoimo (a sticky white potato), konnyaku root (gelatinous concoction of root vegetable), and imoji (a potato root).


People with zinc deficiencies produce low levels of hyaluronic acid. Foods rich in zinc include beans, brown rice, peanuts, potatoes, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and yeasts.



Since hyaluronic acid is one of the most water-loving molecules in nature, they refer to it as "nature's moisturizer." Hyaluronic acid can absorb over 1,000 times it weight in water letting it hydrate the skin and other cell tissues that it contacts. Furthermore, water carries waste away from your cells. Consequently, we should drink from eight to ten glasses of pure water every day because hyaluronic acid functions better if we fully hydrate our bodies. Hyaluronic acid in the correct quantities raises the fluid between the cells, creating a smoother, moisturized skin, by binding with the water molecules.

Just remember, coffee acts as a minor diuretic, helping the body eliminate excess fluids through the urine. Consequently, drinking coffee does not count towards the eight to ten glasses of water.

Avoiding the sun

Exposing oneself to the sun, the ultraviolet radiation from the sun's rays may destroy the hyaluronic acid in the skin. During the aging process coupled with excessive sun exposure, our skin cells slow down the production of hyaluronic acid, or simply change how it functions in the body.

As the video shows in Yuzurhara, Japan, many residents retained smooth wrinkled-free skin even those working in the fields under the sun. The hyaluronic acid may scavenge the oxidants and free radicals caused by ultraviolet radiation. Oxidants and free radicals are charged molecules that damage tissues and cells.

Since we do not know whether sun exposure destroys hyaluronic acid, people can cover exposed body parts or wear sunscreen containing zinc or Mexoryl SX daily. Both zinc and Mexoryl SX block the entire spectrum of ultraviolet rays. Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet rays penetrate through the clouds.

Do not forget to wear good sunglasses with the label "100% UV absorption." The sunglasses protect the eyes and prevent damaged and wrinkled skin around the eyes. People may also want to avoid the ultraviolet tanners.
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Benni View Drop Down
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Hyaluronic Acid Foods

Hyaluronic acid is a natural chemical substance found in the body.   The highest concentrations are found in the joints and eyes.   Also known hyaluron,  it plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of healthy connective tissue.   Hyaluronic acid foods also critical for maintaining good eye health.  Hyaluronic acid levels tend to diminish with age,  and this is partly why elderly individuals have a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.   In fact,  it is generally recommended that individuals with osteoarthritis make sure they’re eating hyaluronic acid foods or foods that help the body to synthesize hyaluronic acid.   Hyaluron is quite effective at relieving much of the pain and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis and giving skin a more youthful look.

Getting More Hyaluronic Acid Foods in Your Diet

If you are interested in making sure your diet contains adequate levels of hyaluron,  you need to learn which foods are hyaluronic acid foods.   A great variety of foods are rich in hyaluronic acid or will help promote your body’s synthesis of it.   For best results,  it is a good idea to eat as many different hyaluronic acid rich foods as possible.

foods containing hyaluronic acid

Sweet Potato is rich in natural hyaluronic acid

Animal products are considered by far to be the best dietary source of hyaluronic acid.   Because it is so highly concentrated in animal connective tissues,  meats with large amounts of skin and other connective tissues are chock-full of hyaluronic acid.  Soups and stews made with unskinned chicken are a tasty way to raise your hyaluron levels.   You should also consider trying liver,  as this is as good a source of hyaluronic acid as iron.

Lots of vegetables have some hyaluronic acid,  but you should try to eat the ones that have the highest levels of it.   Starchy roots and tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes are some of the very best vegetable sources of hyaluronic acid.   Sweet potatoes have the additional advantage of having high levels of magnesium.   The mineral magnesium is essential for the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in the body.   Many people struggle to get adequate amounts of magnesium in their diet;  this is largely because the typical Western diet has low levels of magnesium.

Both potatoes and sweet potatoes are very versatile foods.   Whatever your tastes are as far as cuisine goes, you can find a way to fit potatoes and sweet potatoes into your diet.   If you have something of a sweet tooth,  a little sugar or artificial sweetener and cinnamon added to mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes can become a delicious dessert.

If you prefer fruits over vegetables,  you’ll be glad to know that while there are few hyaluronic acid rich fruits,  there are many vitamin C rich fruits that will help to boost your body’s production of hyaluronic acid.   Like magnesium,  vitamin C is critical for the synthesis of hyaluronic acid.   Without adequate levels of vitamin C,  your body will not gain the full benefit of foods containing hyaluronic acid.

Bananas are one of the few fruit foods that contain hyaluronic acid.   Bananas are inexpensive and available at just about every supermarket.   You shouldn’t have any problems finding them.   Besides having high levels of hyaluronic acid,  bananas are rich in hyaluronic acid-promoting magnesium.   They are wonderful for snacks because their high fiber content ensures that they do not cause spikes in blood sugar.

Oranges,  guavas,  and grapefruits are all excellent sources of vitamin C.   If you want to make sure that your body is synthesizing all the hyaluronic acid that it can,  you should make sure you are consuming at least one serving of vitamin C rich fruit a day.   While it can be easy to forget to eat enough fruit on a regular basis,  if you care about your body’s hyaluronic acid levels,  you will have to make the effort to remember.

While not rich in hyaluronic acid, or as effective at promoting the synthesis of hyaluronic acid as many vegetables and fruits, soy products can be a great way to help bump up your hyaluronic acid levels if used intelligently. Soy products are rich in chemical compounds known as isoflavones. Isoflavones help raise estrogen levels in the body; one of estrogen’s more obscure properties is its ability to elevate hyaluronic acid levels. A small amount of soy each day can help put you on target to achieving your hyaluronic acid related goals.

Consuming more hyaluronic acid foods or foods rich in hyaluronic acid that promote the synthesis of hyaluronic acid can be challenging.  Just remember to take it slowly, and start by making gradual changes to your diet. If you do this, it will not take you very long to start raising your hyaluronic acid levels significantly.

Edited by Benni - Dec 15 2015 at 6:33pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 20 2015 at 9:22pm

Avocado Oil for Skin

As the name implies, avocado oil comes from the avocado fruit. Avocado oil is a hidden treasure. Unlike the well-known tea tree oil, olive oil and lavender oil, avocado oil has yet to be discovered by many people for its great variety of health benefits. Among other things, avocado oil can be used as a beneficial skin care product, for special scalp treatments, medicinal purposes, and in healthy cooking.


Benefits of Avocado Oil for Skin

Scooping the soft fruit and molding a pack onto the face can be both tricky and messy. A far more convenient method of gaining the health benefits of avocado for the skin is rather to use the oil extracted from the fruit.

Here are some important nutrients in avocado oil:

  • Protein and Fats. Avocado oil contains a high amount of proteins and unsaturated fats, both of which are strong skin agents. Avocado oil actually contains omega-3 fatty acids – those very same fatty acids as found in fish oil. Thus, not only can this oil be used as a beneficial lotion, but also as healthy cooking oil!
  • Sterolin. Avocado oil is high in a substance called sterolin, which studies have shown to facilitate the softening of the skin and to reduce the incidence of age spots;
  • Antioxidants. Avocado oil is rich in antioxidants, making it useful for healing sun-damaged skin. Antioxidants like vitamins A, D and E in avocado cause the skin to be suppler, and are thus particularly good for dry or aged skin.
  • Lecithin and Potassium. Avocado oil contains lecithin and potassium, which are all highly beneficial for the skin as well as the hair;

Here are more health benefits of avocado oil:

  • Moisturize the Skin. Avocado oil applied topically helps relieve dry and itchy skin. Once applied, avocado oil is deeply absorbed by the skin, thus making it an ideal moisturizer and skin care agent.
  • Boost Scalp Health. In addition to helping clear scaly skin, it can also relieve itchy scalp symptoms. Avocado oil, when regularly applied to the scalp, can stimulate hair growth.
  • Increase Collagen Production. When applied, avocado oil increases the production of collagen, which helps keep the skin plump and decreases the effects of aging.
  • Treat Skin Conditions. Avocado oil is useful in the treatment of a variety of skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.
  • Others. Avocado oil facilitates the healing of wounds and burns to the skin. It also helps to relieve and heal diaper rash.

Using Avocado Oil for Skin

1. External Use

Prior to using avocado oil topically, you should make sure you aren’t allergic to it. To do so, place a few drops of avocado oil on your arm and rub it gently into the skin. Monitor your skin for a day or so. If you develop any negative reactions such hives or a rash, do not continue using it. If you don’t see any negative effects, you are free to begin enjoying all the benefits of avocado oil.

Used for


Facial Moisturizing

When using the avocado for salads, instead of throwing away the peel sections, save them for your facials. The peel has a hidden reservoir of oil containing a substance called humectant that acts to retain moisture.

To use the peel, gently swipe it over your skin in upward massaging motions until you have covered your whole face. For best results, leave the oil on your skin overnight, and rinse off in the morning.

Sensuous Bath

For a sensuous bath, you can create your own avocado oil aromatherapy blend.

  1. Mix 2 cups of avocado oil with a cup of almond oil and gently heat in a pan.
  2. Once the pan is warm, turn off the heat and add 2 bags of green tea.
  3. When the mixture has cooled, add 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 8 drops of chamomile oil, 4 drops of ylang ylang, and 2 drops of rose oil.
  4. To blend the oils well, place in an amber bottle for at least 24 hours.
  5. Add 2 ounces of this oil blend to your bathwater for a relaxing experience.

Skin Care

After bathing, and when caring for dehydrated or rough and dry skin, a mix of avocado oil and olive oil can be used as a lotion. These two oils blend well and together help to rejuvenate the skin when they are applied regularly.

For best results, apply the mix at least two times daily over the skin. To give a nice fragrance to the mixture, you can add a few drops of any essential oil such as jasmine, orange or lavender.

Scalp Care

Avocado oil can be used for head massages. It also can be used as a hot oil treatment for the hair, as avocado oil can actually be absorbed by dry hair shafts.

  1. To make the treatment, put 2 tablespoons each of avocado oil and castor oil in a bowl, and warm it up.
  2. Once the hair is wetted, massage this warm oil into the scalp and leave overnight.
  3. Shampoo the hair and scalp in the morning.
  4. Regular use of avocado hot oil scalp treatment makes the hair soft and can help eradicate dandruff.

Facial Mask

Avocado oil can be used to make a facial masks for skin treatments.

  1. Peel 1 avocado in a bowl, mash the fruit into a paste. Mix in 1 teaspoon of avocado oil.
  2. Wash your face with warm water to remove the skin oils and any dirt.
  3. Avoid the eyes, nose and mouth, spread the mix evenly over your entire face using a spatula.
  4. For the oil to penetrate deeply into your skin, allow the mask to remain in place for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. To remove the mask, use a towel that has been soaked in hot water and the excess water wrung out.
  6. With the towel placed over your face, apply pressure onto your face and then downward to remove the avocado.
  7. Rinse your face with lukewarm water.

Dry Skin

Because avocado oil tends to reduce itching and inflammation of the skin, people who suffer from very dry skin or from eczema often find avocado oil to have soothing properties. To treat dry skin or eczema, pour a small amount onto the affected skin areas.

Age Spots

Avocado oil is rich in a type of steroid called sterolin. Sterolins can penetrate deeply into the skin to afford it moisture. To make use of the power of sterolins in treating age spots, mix 2 tablespoons of avocado oil with and equal amount of castor oil, and stir well. Massage well over the age spots, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Follow this with a warm water rinse.

2. Internal Use

Eating avocados confers numerous health benefits. Although the nutritional value of avocado oil is similar to that of olive oil, avocado oil is lighter and lacks the bitter taste of olive oil. Because of this, it is a good choice for salad dressings or for use as a condiment. It is also a healthy alternative.

Research has shown that when added to salads, both fresh avocado and avocado oil facilitate the absorption of carotenoid antioxidants. Furthermore, consuming avocados is good for your heart, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. The antioxidants in avocados help in preventing cancer. Eating salads containing avocados or avocado oil with all their good vitamins and nutrients provides your skin with long-term benefits. In other words, whether you apply avocado oil topically or eat it as a salad dressing, either way, it will do wonders for your skin.

Tips for Buying Avocado Oil

In order to get oil with the best health benefits, look to buy avocado oil that is unrefined and organic. A 16 oz. bottle of unrefined avocado oil from a health store typically sells for about $30. Blends of avocado oil containing garlic and/or olive oil can have good culinary uses.

Edited by Benni - Dec 20 2015 at 9:23pm
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In this article:

We're often asked about the claim that AHA and BHA exfoliants "deactivate" or reduce the effectiveness of retinol. We've also read similar cautionary statements in beauty magazines that retinol works better without AHA or BHA exfoliants—or that, gasp, it shouldn't be paired with vitamin C.

If smoother, younger-looking skin is your goal, where do you start given all this misinformation? The confusion ends here—as always, we turn to the research to bring you the myth-busting facts.

Myth #1: You can't use retinol with an AHA or BHA exfoliant

False! No research anywhere (we repeat, anywhere) demonstrates or concludes that AHA or BHA exfoliants deactivates or makes retinol any less effective when used in the same skin-care routine.

In fact, whenever we see a comment or recommendation about not using retinol with AHA or BHA exfoliants, the advisement is never supported by research demonstrating that incompatibility. It's one of those falsehoods that gets repeated so often, people (even dermatologists) tend to believe it rather than question it.

It turns out that the claim of retinol not working with AHA or BHA exfoliants involves a misunderstanding about how skin-care ingredients work together, and how each affects the structure of the skin. Let's dig a little deeper and find out just how wrong this claim is in our next myth…

Myth #2: The pH of AHA & BHA exfoliants reduce retinol's effectiveness

The confusion about using retinol with AHA or BHA products has to do with concern over the exfoliants' acidity lowering the skin's pH, thus (as the claim goes) disrupting the retinol's ability to work its anti-aging, skin-smoothing magic.

The reasoning behind this claim is that if the pH of the skin is below 5.5 to 6, an enzyme in your skin won't be able to convert the retinol into retinoic acid (a form of vitamin A), which is the active form of retinol. This is all based on the assumption that the acidic exfoliant ingredients lower the pH of the skin, but that's not what happens.

Just like most skin-care rumors, this one sprang from a misunderstanding about the research.

Only one study (from 1990) mentions the pH range and skin enzyme issue described above. However, that study was performed on a blend of animal and human proteins, and the pH relationship issue developed only when a fatty acid by-product was added to the mix (in other words, not on normal human proteins and not on healthy, intact skin).

To further emphasize how misguided the assumption of retinol's incompatibility with AHA or BHA is, the study in question clearly states, "no clear optimal [pH range] was seen when the assay was run without [fatty acid byproduct]."

In the end, this single study was used only to compare how animal and human skin metabolizes the form of vitamin A naturally present in skin, not about how topical vitamin A benefits (or functions in) skin. Its conclusions were not intended to be used to make decisions about skin care.

Topically applied vitamin A does not replace or substitute the body's development or the function of retinoic acid. It's like thinking you could apply vitamin C into your eyes to prevent macular degeneration rather than eating vitamin C-rich foods.

Fun fact: Retinol occurs as a solid that must be dissolved in a carrier oil, which makes it a waterless ingredient. Its waterless composition means that there is no pH to consider, even when it is layered with acidic ingredients—you cannot establish a pH in a waterless product!

It's worth noting that no research has replicated the pH limitations of the 1990 study. Yet despite the lack of follow-up supporting research, that study is still cited (solely) to support the inaccurate claim that retinol cannot be used with AHA, BHA, or, as you'll see in myth #6, with vitamin C.

Myth #3: Retinol works better without AHA or BHA exfoliants

You may be surprised to find out that research has shown that retinol combined with exfoliants like AHAshelps fade hyperpigmentation in skin, and improves the results you get from both ingredients on the skin. We often wonder how those who argue against combining retinol with AHA or BHA exfoliants overlook that information.

The belief that skin's pH neutralizes acidic skin-care products applied to its surface is misguided. A neutral pH is 7, yet skin is naturally acidic, more so than thought in the one, lone study that's often cited. Today's research demonstrates that skin's pH actually hovers between 4.7 and 5. Does this then mean you must raise your skin's pH to use a retinol product? Of course not! We know from research that retinol works when applied to the skin, and it works at the skin's naturally acidic pH.

Myth #4: Retinol exfoliates skin, so don't use it with an AHA or BHA

Retinol and exfoliants work very differently to improve skin, but complement each other when paired in a complete skin-care routine. It's a popular misconception that the way retinol works is by exfoliating skin, so we understand why this issue has become confusing. Here are the facts:

  • Retinol is an antioxidant and an important cell-communicating ingredient. When retinol absorbs into skin, it can actually "tell" living skin cells to make healthier, younger cells and to enhance the production of new skin cells.
  • Retinol does its work by stimulating cellular turnover from the deeper layers up—not in the uppermost layers. Those uppermost layers are where AHA or BHA steps in to help skin shed unhealthy, dead, built-up skin cells.
  • Retinol in both over-the-counter and prescription-only products may cause flaking and peeling for some.Don't mistake flaking for exfoliation, whether from retinol or AHAs or BHAs. Flaking is a sign of irritation, and if it persists when using an AHA, BHA, or retinol product you need to reduce frequency of use or consider stopping altogether.

Myth #5: You can't use Retinol during the daytime

Retinol does not cause the same sensitivity to daylight as tretinoin, it's more potent, prescription-only form (brand name examples are Renova or Retin-A). Research has shown that retinol and vitamin C work well under SPF-rated products to protect the skin from UV light, and that vitamins A, C, and E, even when in combination, also remain stable and effective under an SPF-rated product.

Research also has shown that a vitamin A and E combination remains stable under UV exposure plus sunscreen, as does pure vitamin A used alone. That's excellent proof of retinol's stability when paired with a sunscreen.

Antioxidants plus sunscreen are a formidable defense against wrinkles, uneven skin tone, loss of firmness, and brown spots. For best results, be sure to apply antioxidant-rich skin-care products morning and evening.

Myth #6: You shouldn't combine Retinol with Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid and its derivatives) is another ingredient often cited as a problem when combined with retinol. As with the AHA and BHA myth, this one is also based on the pH/acidity issue.

The truth: Vitamin C (depending on the form) requires a low pH (or no pH at all, as is the case in non-aqueous, silicone-based formulas) to remain stable. We know retinol works in an acidic environment and that skin's pH is naturally acidic, so from what the research has shown us, here's a clear case where the coupling of vitamin C + retinol makes sense.

Research has shown that a combination of vitamins in cosmetics is the way to achieve the best results,including the combination of vitamins A, C, and E. In a double-whammy myth-buster, retinol proved to be not only effective when paired with vitamin C, but the two also worked beautifully to defend skin against free radicals when applied under a sunscreen! That wouldn't be the case if retinol made vitamin C ineffective or vice-versa.

Vitamin C actually helps retinol work better! It fights free radicals, a process that helps protect retinol from oxidization as it penetrates deeper into the skin—thereby increasing its anti-aging benefits! One could argue that not using retinol with vitamin C (or some other potent antioxidant) puts your skin at a disadvantage.

Bottom Line

We've presented the research-based facts above, but, ultimately, it's your choice as to what is best for your skin. What you don't need is "junk science" or persistent myths taken as facts.

There is no research anywhere that supports the misguided assertion that retinol is deactivated when combined with acidic ingredients, and there is plenty of research that demonstrates the opposite. In fact, cosmetics chemists who specialize in developing retinol formulas balk at this, and we've asked around—a lot!

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Retinol Treatments.

Edited by Benni - Dec 22 2015 at 9:45pm
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The Bad List: Comedogenic Ingredients And Products

    Comedogenic: Tending to produce or aggravate acne.

    This post lists comedogenic ingredients and products containing those ingredients above a certain threshold. This is the BAD LIST of what to avoid in your skin care products. If you want the good list of non-comedogenic products,see this alternate post.

    This is purely informational. I am not making any blanket statements concerning any particular product. Use this post to inform yourself. What you choose to slather on your face is your own business.

    Just because something claims to be "non-comedogenic" "non-acnegenic" "oil-free" "dermatologist tested" or "dermatologist approved" does NOT mean the product is free of comedogenic ingredients. These terms are not regulated, and a company can use them however they want. You will find many "non-comedogenic" products that contain the worst offenders on this list!

    A major offender is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate...contained in many mainstream cleansers.

    Ingredients with a comedogenic rating of 3 or higher are highlighted in red.

    ingredient : comedogenic factor : irritant factor

    1. Lanolins 
    Acetylated lanolin : 4 : 0
    Acetylated lanolin acohol : 4 : 2
    Anhydrous lanolin : 0-1 : ?
    Lanolin alchol : 0-2 : 2
    PEG 16 lanolin (Solulan 16) : 4 : 3
    PEG 75 lanolin : 0 : 0

    2. Fatty acids
    Laurie acid : 4 : 1
    Lauric acid : 4 : ?
    Myristic acid : 3 : 0
    Dioctyl succinate : 3 : 2
    Syearyl Heptanoate : 4 : 0
    Palmitic acid : 2 : 0
    Stearic acid : 2 : 0
    Behenic acid : 0 : 0
    Ascorbytl palmitate : 2 : 0
    Butyl stearate : 3 : 0
    Decyl oleate : 3 : 0
    Dilsopropyl adipate : 0 : 0
    Isopropyl isosterate : 5 : 0
    Isopropyl myristate : 5 : 3
    Isopropyl palmitate : 4 : 1
    Isopropyl linolate : 5 : ?
    Isostearyl neopentanoate : 3 : 3
    Isostearyl isostearate : 4 : 1
    Myristyl lactate : 4 : 2
    Octydodecyl stearate : 0 : 0
    Stearyl heptanoate : 4 : 0
    Tridectyl neopentanoate : 0 : 3
    PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate : 3 : 2
    Ethylhexyl palmitate : 4 : ?
    Isodecyl oleate : 4 : ?
    PPG 30 : 0 : 0

    3. Alcohols and sugars
    SD Alcohol 40 : 0 : 0
    Isopropyl alcohol : 0 : 0
    Cetyl alcohol : 2 : 2
    Cetearyl alcohol : 2 : 1
    Stearyl alcohol : 2 : 2
    Ceteareth 20 : 4 : 1
    Propylene glycol : 0 : 0
    PG dicaprylate/caprate : 1 : 0
    PG dipelargonate : 2 : 2
    Sorbitol : 0 : 0
    Sorbitan laurate : 1 : 1
    Sorbitan sesquinoleate : 0 : 0
    Sorbitan stearate : 0 : 1
    Polysorbate 20 : 0 : 0
    Polysorbate 80 : 0 : 0
    Glycerin : 0 : 0
    Glyceryl stearate NSE : 1 : 0
    Glyceryl stearate SE : 3 : 2
    Pentaerythrital tetra caprai caprylate : 0 : 0
    Wheat germ glyceride : 3 : 2
    Polyethylene glycol : 1 : 0
    PEG 20 stearate : 1 : 0
    Laureth-4 : 5 : 4
    Laureth-23 : 3 : 0
    Oleth-3 : 5 : 2
    Oleth-10 : 2 : 1
    PPG 30 cetyl ester : 0 : 0
    PEG 40 castor oil : 0 : 0
    Steareth-2 : 2 : 2
    Steareth-10 : 4 : 3
    Steareth-20 : 2 : 1
    Steareth-100 : 0 : 0
    PG Monostearate / Propylene glycol monostearate : 3 : 0
    PEG 8 stearate : 3 : 1
    Disodium monooleamido PEG 2 Sulfosuccinate : 4 : ? 
    Glyceryl-3-Diisostearate : 4 : ?
    Polyglyceryl-3-diisostearate : 4 : ?
    Oleyl alcohol : 4 : ?
    Isocetyl alcohol : 4 : 0
    Isocetyl stearate : 5 : ?
    PEG 200 Dilaurate : 3 : ?
    PEG 100 Distearate : 2 : 0
    Hexadecyl alcohol : 5 : ?
    Octyl stearate : 5 ; ?
    Myreth 3 Myrisrate : 4 : ?

    4. Waxes
    Candelilla wax : 1 : 0
    Camuba wax : 1 : 0
    Ceresin wax : 0 : ?
    Beeswax : 0-2 : 0
    Lanolin wax : 1 : 0
    Jojoba oil : 0-2 : 0
    Sulfated jojoba oil : 3 : 0
    Emulsifying wax NF : 0-2 : 0-2

    5. Thickeners
    Carboxymethylcellulose : 0 : 0
    Hydroxypropylcellulose : 1 : 0
    Magnesium aluminum silicate : 0 : 0
    Carbomer 940 : 1 : 0
    Bentonite : 0 : 0
    Kaolin : 0 : 0
    Talc : 1 : 0
    Sorbitan oleate : 3 : 0

    6. Oils
    Olive oil : 2-4 : ?
    Cocoa butter : 4 : 0
    Coconut butter : 4 : 0
    Cocos Nucifera / Coconut oil : 4 : ?
    Grape seed oil : 4 : ?
    Crisco : 3 : ?
    Hydrogenated vegetable oil : 3 : ?
    Peach kernel oil : 4 : ?
    Linum usitatissiumum seed oil / Linseed oil : 4 : ?
    Sesame oil : 2 : 0
    Corn oil : 2-3 : 0
    Avocado oil : 2 : 0
    Almond oil : 2 : ?
    Emu oil : 1 : 0
    Camphor oil : 2 : 2
    Hazelnut oil : 2 : 0
    Hemp seed oil : 0 : ?
    Evening primrose oil : 2 : 2
    Peanut oil : 2 : 1
    Pomegranate oil : 1 : 0
    Rosehip oil : 1 : 1
    Tamanu oil : 2 : 0
    Shea butter : 0 : 0
    Argan oil : 0 : 0
    Mink oil : 3 : 1
    Glycine soja oil / Soybean oil : 3 : 0
    Shark liver oil : 3 : 2
    Triticum Vulgare / Wheat germ oil : 5 : 2
    Cotton seed oil : 3 : ?
    Cotton awws : 3 : ? 
    Apricot kernel oil : 2 : 0
    Camphor : 2 : ?
    Castor oil : 1 : 0
    Hydrogenated castor oil : 1 : 0
    Sulfated castor oil : 3 : ?
    Sandalwood Seed Oil : 2 : 0
    Squalane : 1 : 0
    Squalene : 3 : ?
    Safflower oil (cold pressed only, high lineolic content) : 0 : 0
    Safflower oil (cooking variety, high oleic content) : 4 : ?
    Mineral oil : 0 : 0
    Petrolatum : 0 : ?
    Sesame oil : 2 : ?
    Sunflower oil : 0-2 : ?

    7. Pigments
    D&C red #6 : 1 : 0
    D&C red #9 : 1 : 0
    D&C red #19 : 2 : 0
    D&C red #27 : 2 : 0
    D&C red #30 : 3 : 0
    D&C red #36 : 3 : 0
    D&C red 40 : 2 : 2
    Ultramarine violet : 0 : 0
    Iron oxides : 0 : 0
    Cafmine : 0 : 0
    Titanium dioxide : 0 : 0

    8. Silicones
    Sirnethicone : 1 : 0
    Dimethicone : 1 : 0
    Cyclomethicone : 0 : 0

    9. Sterols
    Cholesterol : 0 : 0
    Soya sterol : 0 : 0
    Peg 5 soya sterol : 0 : 0
    Peg 10 soya sterol : 0 : 1
    Choleth 24 : 0 : 0
    Sterol esters : 0 : 0

    10. Vitamins and herbs
    Algae extract : 5 : 4
    Red Algae : 5 : 2
    Tocopherol (vitamin E) : 2 : 2
    Tocopheryl acetate : 0 : 0
    Black walnut extract : 0 : 0
    Chammomile extract : 0 : 0
    Vitamin Apalmitate : 2 : 2
    Panthenol : 0 : 0
    Calendula : 1 : ?
    Cold Pressed Aloe : 0 : ?
    Carrageenans : 5 : ?
    Sodium chloride (salt) : 5 : 0-3
    Colloidal sulfur : 3 : ? 
    Flowers of sulfur : 0 : ?
    Beta Carotene : 1 : ?
    BHA : 2 : ?
    Algin : 4 : ?
    Potassium Chloride : 5 : ?

    11. Preservatives
    Methyl paraben : 0 : 0
    Propyl paraben : 0 : 0
    Allantoin : 0 : 0
    Hydantoin : 0 : 0
    Sodium hyaluronate : 0 : 0

    12. Detergents
    Sodium Laureth Sulfate : 3 : 2
    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate : 5 : 2
    Sodium Myreth Sulfate 3 : ?
    Carbomer 940 : 1 : ?
    Hydroxypropyl cellulose : 1 : ?
    Kaolin : 0 : ?

    13. Misc
    Octyl drinethyl PABA : 0 : 0
    Oxybenzone : 0 : 0
    Octyl methoxycinnamate : 0 : 9
    Octyl salicylate : 0 : 0
    Lithium stearate : 1 : 0
    Magnesium stearate : 1 : 0
    Zinc oxide : 1 : 0
    Zinc stearate : 0 : 0
    Triethanolamine : 2 : 0
    Stearic acid TEA : 3 : 2
    Sodium PCA : 0 : 0
    Hydryolyzed animal protein : 0 : 0
    Adamosis stearate : 2 : 2
    Xylene : 4 : 3
    Zea Mays (Corn Starch) : 2-4 : 2-5
    Octyl palmitate : 4 : 1

    Sources: Face Reality Pore Clogging Ingredients LIst, Zero Zits Comedogenic List, Let's Talk Acne and Cosmetics, Beneficial Botanicals

    Edited by Benni - Dec 29 2015 at 9:51pm
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 31 2015 at 10:22pm
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