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Printed From: Black Hair Media Forum
Category: Skin Care
Forum Name: Dark Spots
Forum Description: Discussion on Dark Spots
Printed Date: Dec 15 2018 at 5:18am

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Oct 30 2013 at 11:42pm
The journey begins...
I used to be medium skin tone, with a culturally mixed background. 5 yrs ago I noticed that my summer tan did not go away, the following year's tan just added to the previous year, and so on. So, I changed from a 'medium' BB/CC cream to dark. All my family members whom I've seen this past year asked 'why are youso dark ?? I have since come to find out this is called a 'Permatan' ????
Our makeup, hair colour, and clothing was somehow incorporated with our skin tone.
This is MY journey, so those who feel the need to say 'accept your skin colour', that is exactly what I am doing, 'cause this ain't it !! I want mine back !!!

Anyway,I have been using Nadinola fade cream for the past 4 days (evening of 10/25).I have seen a very slight difference, then again, I am not expecting miracles.

Today I got my Kojic Acid Soap, and Amlactin Lotion. These are for my 'Exfoliation', which should last 2 months. Not too bad considering I have gone without sunscreen/sunblock for 30+ yrs. Yes, I now know that we should be wearing some type of sun protection even when we are indoors. Especially if we are near windows. I am perky only when the sun is out .   I hate gloomy days.

Today 10/30..
I showered, then rubbed the Koji-Soap over my body, and let it stay on for for 20+ mins.( It's day-1, and I am not in a hurry), the Soap has "Acid" in its name .   It left a white-ish film as it dried. Then I rinsed, and used my body scrubber. Dried, and waited some time to apply Amlactin from neck to toe. I continued to use Nadinola on my face.

I may update daily , or at least weekly.   
Not looking forward to my bi-weekly salt bath I am a shower gal. Yesterday's bath left me exhausted and sleepy.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 12:12am
Ooops ...forgot to mention I also purchased Neutrogena Age Shield 70 SPF SunBLOCK with Helioplex for my face when outdoors. I will continue to use the SPF 30 Sunscreen I already have when indoors. Right now my face is darkest !!!!

Wearing long sleeves will have to suffice for the rest of my body for now.

I am loving Hats !! It also works well for my hair as well as my face

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 2:25pm
It is the morning after..........
I purchased 2 types of Kojic Acid Soap, the original for my body, and Dream White anti-aging for my face since it is supposed less drying.
My determination so far is that I may not be 'soaping' my face daily in this initial phase. Even though my face is most sun damaged, the skin is still too delicate for this soap. When my facial skin get used to the soap, I will wash with it daily, then twice daily (yet to be determined). For now, it will be every other day.
Loving the Amlactin Lotion . It was $13+ on sale at Costco ($4 off the original price), so I will be getting a few more before the sale ends. I've heard it works wonders for the soles of the feet with exfoliation of those thick layers.

After washing my face this morning, I applied Vit-C serum, and moisturizer with SPF 30. Amlactin lotion on the body.
I will continue to use Nadinola at night on my face and neck.
Use the Kojic Soap on my body, then Amlactin lotion at night.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 8:17pm

So this may be broken into sections while I gather my thoughts

I showered, then rubbed Kojic Acid Soap all over the body to my toes. There was some left over on my hands, so I rubbed it on my face. I know, I said I will do my face every other day, but I did not want to wash my hands because I need exfoliation there. I may have mentioned somewhere on this Forum that I am frugal . I waste NOTHING!!!
To pass the time, I did some mindless exercise which lasted about 25 mins . The rinse and 'scrub' gave the effect of hair after a sulfate shampoo. Kind of dry.

FOR MY FACE.. I dotted with some Nadinola, then rubbed together in my hands a few drops of EVOO to combat the dryness.

FOR THE BODY...Amlactin Lotion. I finally experienced the 'odor' I heard of on SCT. It was mildly acidic. I guess this is normal due to the Lactic Acid in the Lotion and Kojic Acid in the Soap. I was concerned that I may have gotten some 'bootleg' soap from Amazon . Not anymore

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 9:52pm

My face (in my opinion) is similar to that of Flavor Flav. My Neck and decollete' is 2 shades lighter. My chest and torso is similar to my Avitar. My upper arms are splotchy with dark brown and light brown. Elbows are a very dark calloused mess. I don't wear sleeveless anything !!!
Forearms not too bad...a caramel color.
Surprisingly, my thighs are darker than my lower legs which are more exposed...WTH !!

My knees are not too bad just old scars that tends to lighten on their own. Now, my thighs, just above my knees are darker because sometimes when I am sitting I tend to place my elbows there, and that pressure darkens that area.

All in all, my body contradicts itself tone-wise.

I am really just tired of foregoing certain items of clothing because they don't cover the parts of my body that I am self conscious of.

Maybe I can never get an overall eveness, but I hope to get close.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 01 2013 at 6:00pm
Plantains, or bananas as they are commonly known, have vast and varied uses in the process to skin care. They can be used for regular skin maintenance as well as to treat some skin ailments. Plantains are particularly useful in treating excessively dry skin. You can let a plantain become overripe, mash it and then mix it with fresh milk cream. This can be applied to areas where the skin is particularly dry. You can also add a few drops of lime juice to this mix. This will sanitize your skin and will also help to lighten the color of the skin from particularly dark areas. The best way to tell if a plantain is over ripe is to examine the skin. If the skin has more black spots on it than yellow spaces, then you know that the plantain is too ripe to eat. Some people also call this the rotten stage. It is definitely the beginning of the rot of the fruit. An excellent fruit pack can also be made with plantain. After a facial, you would need to apply a pack to tone your skin. You can use overripe plantains, peaches and papayas to make a very effective fruit pack. This can be mixed with honey and be applied to your face for excellent toning as well as evening out the color of the skin. This mix will also impart collagen to your skin. Collagen will help to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles.

Plantains can also give back the glow your skin may have lost due to age. You can make a pack of one mashed plantain and a whole egg and whip this. This can be applied at least once a week and left on till it begins to dry. Wash with water for excellent results. Plantains are considered to be extremely effective in anti aging properties. This is because they contain all the ingredients that the skin has stopped manufacturing naturally. There is a vast variety of minerals, vitamins and proteins that are required by the skin to keep it looking naturally healthy and fresh. After the age of around 35, the natural production of most of these things decreases, gradually coming to a stop by the time most people reach 50 years of age. In order to replenish the skin with these ingredients, bananas are the best substance to do the job. They can be used every week, and will also not have any side effects.

by Steph in Skin Problems

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 01 2013 at 11:34pm

As expected not much has changed. I did not use the Kojie Soap on my face this morning, but I did use my Toner. I have been forgetting that step. 50/50 ACV and water. Vit-C Serum, and moisturizer with SPF.

I did however notice a rash like appearance on my Neck and Chest. No itching. This afternoon I showered, then rubbed Kojic Acid Soap, and left that of for 20 minutes, rinsed and applied Amlactin after 20 mins. There was a slight burning to the irritated area on my neck, which quickly subsided. Nadinola to my face.

I will be doing a Salt bath this weekend using Epsom Salts. Not looking forward to sitting in a tub for 20-30 mins. No reading in there, I value my Books too much to turn pages with wet fingers. Wish I had a Television in the bathroom

Anyhow, this will be a tedious process, but a viable process just the same.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 02 2013 at 2:32pm
I left Kojic 'anti-aging' soap on my face for 15 mins this morning. Rinsed and applied toner. While waiting, before applying Vit-C serum, I noted a tightness to the face. Also, although I have not noted any outward signs of exfoliation, I did notice that after applying my moisturized, there was no 'pilling'. This has been troubling for me in the past because I knew that my skin was not absorbing the moisturizer, it was just sitting on top of my skin . So, something wonderful is already happening

I am still a little confused regarding the 'rash-like' appearance on my neck last night. I am still not clear, but wondered if it was related to the Sulfa/MN mix that I massage onto my scalp. I also GHE, so the oil may be getting onto my neck. I will have to pay closer attention, and continually wipe my neck with a damp cloth, and apply the Amlactin lotion later, just before sleep. I planned to discontinue the Sulfa/MN anyway when the mix I currently have is used up.

Putting off the dreaded 'bath' until tomorrow. How does one spent 20 mins, or any time for that matter, just sitting in a tub

I have lots of Fruits and Veggies to juice, so I am off

Posted By: Jewelsnyc
Date Posted: Nov 02 2013 at 3:04pm
Originally posted by Benni Benni wrote:


My face (in my opinion) is similar to that of Flavor Flav. My Neck and decollete' is 2 shades lighter. My chest and torso is similar to my Avitar. My upper arms are splotchy with dark brown and light brown. Elbows are a very dark calloused mess. I don't wear sleeveless anything !!!
Forearms not too bad...a caramel color.
Surprisingly, my thighs are darker than my lower legs which are more exposed...WTH !!

My knees are not too bad just old scars that tends to lighten on their own. Now, my thighs, just above my knees are darker because sometimes when I am sitting I tend to place my elbows there, and that pressure darkens that area.

All in all, my body contradicts itself tone-wise.

I am really just tired of foregoing certain items of clothing because they don't cover the parts of my body that I am self conscious of.

Maybe I can never get an overall eveness, but I hope to get close.

so your face is the color of flava flav flavor_flav

But your body is the color of your avi...Avatara white person??

I don't think that can be caused by sun?? Maybe medication?

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 03 2013 at 12:44am
@Jewelsnyc, That Favor Flav comment was "(in my opinion)" . That is how I see my face. You know we can be our own worst critics. But, i'm not far off.
I am not on any Meds. I am kinda phobic about that. I only take Vits, even then I am not consistent , just conveniently forgetful.

ps The Avi is not white. Have you seen the hair

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 03 2013 at 12:54am
My routine tonight was the same except, I wrapped my hair with a TEE after showering. I don't use a shower cap, so maybe the water from my hair mixed with the Sulfa, and ran down my neck , causing irritation when the Soap and LA lotion came into contact on my neck. I also rubbrd a scant amt of Coconut Oil on my neck before applying the LA lotion.

Tomorrow.....I sit in the Tub, that is providing I go out to get the Epsom Salts

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 03 2013 at 11:05pm
Did the dreaded Salt Bath
The Epsom Salt bath was not as bad as expected. While out getting Epsom Salts this a.m, I was able to purchase DVD's !!!!1 . I did not even consider watching them while in the bath until just prior..DUH ! I added Grapeseed Oil, and some Peppermint Oil. The Grapeseed Oil was wonderful. After the 'soak', I washed with my regular Dove Liquid Soap, and scrubbed well. The residue I saw while the tub was draining was a brown mess. Now, I am not sure if was due to the Oil, or exfoliation. After all, I have only been on this regimen for a few days .    So, I will not do this again until next week, and omit the Grapeseed Oil. I will, by then be on this regimen for over a week, and know for sure what this brown mess it. I shower and scrub daily, and don't engage in physical activity if possible , so the likelihood of it being dirt is very minimal.

Gave myself a break from Kojic Soap today, Still applied Amlactin though.

I am seeing some subtle changes, but it could just be wishful thinking on my part. So, I will observe over the next few days.

Forever the Skeptic

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 04 2013 at 5:45pm
I am learning as I go along...

For the past few days my morning routine has been to wash my face with my regular facial cleanser using an 'abrasive' (loosely termed) glove which I have been using for a few years, then using Kojic Soap. This morning I washed as usual, then used Kojic Soap, after a few mins, I 'scrubbed' with the glove.....My, oh my .   The brown whatever that came off on that glove made me wonder just how ineffective that glove was without the exfoliation soap .

Have been checking out on youtube. There is so much about basic skin care still to be learned.

Knowledge truly is power

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 04 2013 at 9:58pm

The anti-oxidants in grape seed oil help to protect the skin against radical attack, restore elasticity, improve microcirculation and can be regarded as anti-ageing. Grape seed oil protects against free radical attack and DNA damage. Grape seed antioxidants are twenty (20) times more potent than Vitamin C. It is very light, odorless and absorbs easily through the skin.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 05 2013 at 10:14am
pH, Free Acid Value, Layering, And Wait Times

Original writer....DebbieNIR


The initials pH stand for "Power of Hydrogen" or "Potential of Hydrogen." Both terms are correct. This is a measure of the hydrogen ion content in a solution.

The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a product is, compared to pure distilled water (which is pH 7.0). Only wet substances have a measurable pH. The skin's pH is actually the pH on the skins surface from the moisture within the skin, and the "acid mantle" which is part of the protective "barrier" on its surface. Hair for example has no pH.

The acid mantle is a fine film layer, slightly acidic, made up from skin oils, sweat, and dead cells. It is one means the skin uses to protect itself from bacteria, moisture loss, and environmental damage. Pollutants, harmful bacterium, contaminants are normally alkaline in nature, so a slightly acid skin surface helps fight off these harmful elements and prevent them from entering into, and damaging the skin. Maintaining the acid mantle is recommended for good skin health. When the acid mantle is damaged it takes approximately 14-17 hours to repair itself (assuming no other damaging products are applied to it).

A damaged acid mantle leads to a number of skin issues, such as over dry skin, dehydration, over oily skin, flaky skin, acne, sensitivity, etc. It would require another long post to detail all this. But incorrect pH products can contribute to acid mantle degradation, and increases in acne-causing bacteria on the skin. (More on this below)

The pH Scale

The pH scale goes from 0-14. This covers most wet substances, and certainly all skincare products.

-Acids have pH values under 7 - they are more acidic then water (acid)
-Alkalis have pH values over 7 - they are more alkaline then water (base)
-If a substance has a pH value of 7 - it is neutral, like water (neither acid nor base)

The difference between each whole-value pH level represents a tenfold change. (For example, a cleanser with a pH of 6 is ten times more alkaline than a cleanser with a pH of 5, and a cleanser with a pH of 7 is 100 times more alkaline then one of 5.) Because of this, only a few units of pH can make a big difference in how your skin reacts to a product.

Some pH examples:

pH 1 = Battery acid
pH 1.5 -2 = gastric (stomach) acid
pH 2 = lemon juice
pH 2.5 = cola soft drinks
pH 3 = vinegar
ph 3.5 = orange juice
pH 4.6-5.5 = healthy skin (and recommended pH range for your cleanser, for best skin health)
pH 5.5 = rainwater (pure water, when exposed to the atmosphere, will take in carbon dioxide, changing its pH)
pH 6.5 = milk
pH 6.5-7.4 = healthy saliva
pH 7 = pure distilled water - (This is neutral pH, neither acid nor base)
pH 7.35 – 7.45 = human blood
pH 8.5 = baking soda (damaging to skin's acid mantle)
pH 9 = seawater
pH 9.0-10.0 = hand soap, detergents (very damaging to acid mantle)
pH 10.5 = Milk of Magnesia
pH 11.5 = household ammonia
pH 12.5 = household bleach
pH 13 = lye (sodium hydroxide, or Draino)(Alkaline or Base extreme)

Skin and the Acid Mantle

Newborn baby skin has a neutral pH of 7. Within a few months it adjusts to a more "normal" pH of 4.5 to 5.5, enabling it to be more resistant to bacteria.

Adult skin is normally slightly acidic, a range of 4.5 to 5.5. Different body areas can differ in pH, and disease and acid mantle damage can alter pH. But the preferred range for facial skin pH is 4.5 to 5.5.

Those with skin disease, skin problems, and stressed skin usually have a skin pH over 6.0. Aged, stressed and damaged skin have more difficulty maintaining a 'correct' pH.

As skin pH is elevated closer to pH 7.0, it becomes less and less able to function optimally and to kill bacteria. This allows acne-causing bacteria to multiply rapidly on the skin's surface. (Acne bacteria are found on everyone's skin, even if you never have a pimple in your life.) The damaged skin is unable to fend off the excess bacteria, and they multiply rapidly. Bacteria growth is very slow at pH of 5.5 or less, but a slight shift upward, toward the alkaline levels, causes a marked increase in the reproduction and lifespan of acne-causing bacteria.

So if your skin is at a higher pH (anything over 6, as damaged skin often is) the acne-causing bacteria can multiply much easier and faster -- often faster then your skin can handle. Skin pH is one main contributor to acne.

Skin pH also has an effect on how easily irritated your skin is, how well it ages, and how it deals with product and environmental stress. This is why it is recommended that you cleanse skin with mild, non-irritating products, as close to the skin's natural pH as possible.

Many commercial cleansers are highly alkaline, which also changes the skin's pH to alkaline levels on the skin surface, for a short time. Many alkaline cleansers are in the same pH range as baking soda, and some are nearly as high as ammonia. This is very harsh on the skin, and can lead to increased irritation, acne, moisture loss, skin aging etc. As pimples erupt, the skin is less able to heal itself, or the damage that pimples leave behind.

If a product has a high pH and a considerable percentage of a strong detergent such as sodium lauryl sulfate, or irritant like peppermint oil or menthol, because of the pH destructive activity on the acid mantle, the detergent can contribute to even more damage then it would if the product pH was closer to 5.5. It literally takes a split second for an alkaline product to degrade the skin barrier enough for an irritant or damaging detergent to penetrate. Some people can handle this better then others, but long term daily use on the skin can contribute to long term issues on all skin types. As skin ages, or the barrier function degrades, it has more difficultly dealing with this type of stress.

Even when the skin re-adjusts to its more normal pH (4.5 to 5.5) - it is already damaged, irritated and stressed. The damage recovery involves longer term healing; 14 to 17 hours for acid mantle repair. Continued long-term damage, stress, and mild irritation can prevent the skin from maintaining its best pH level of 4.5 to 5.5. With time, and increased damage, it may tend to stay at the 6 range or higher.

As skin become healthier, its pH values lower, and acne growth also lowers. The skin becomes more "normal" and regulated.

Listing of pH of many common cleansers:

The pH of Common Cleanser

A few examples from above link:

Burt's Bees Tomato, Carrot, and Lettuce soaps 10
Dial Soap (liquid and bar) 9.5
Dove Bar, Baby Dove Bar 7
Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash 6.5-7.0
Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar Original Formula 8.7-9.2
Paula's Choice (all formulations) 5.5

A product may include the term "pH Balanced" on the label. This does NOT mean that it has an optimal pH of 5.5. The term has no legal definition.

Some products are a good pH, but high in irritants. Which is better then high pH and high irritants, but not great either.

A good cleanser cleans the skin without breaking down the acid mantle, or adding irritants to the skin. It is mild with a 5.5 or lower pH.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 05 2013 at 10:50am

Exfoliating Power of AHAs and BHAs

The acids commonly used in skin care treatment (AHAs, BHAs,TCA) are all pH dependent. The lower the pH, the more effective the acid is on the skin. It will work better, penetrate better and deeper, with a more concentrated effect. It can also be more irritating, because it is more 'powerful'.

When an acid product is formulated with a pH below 2.0, all of its acid percentage is essentially 'free' or available to work effectively on the skin.

For example:

A 20% lactic acid product at a pH of 1.9 has 20% of the lactic acid 'free' or available to work on your skin. This is referred to as the 'Free Acid Value' or FAV.

As pH is raised closer to 7.0, less acid is free and the acid's effectiveness is weakened. So for a true understanding of the strength of your acid product, you need to know the acid percentage in the product, AND the pH.

AHAs (glycolic, lactic, mandelic, malic, citric, tartaric, etc.) are basically ineffective over 4.0 pH. To exfoliate the surface of the skin, the pH must be below 4.0. and the product percentage must be over 5%. 5% to 8% with a pH of 3.0 - 4.0 is the MINIMUM level for a daily use AHA; this will not treat scars or rebuild collagen.

BHAs (salicylic acid) are also basically ineffective over 4.0 pH. To exfoliate the skin, and unclog pores, the pH must be below 4.0 and the product percentage must be over 1%. (1% to 2% with a pH of 3.0 - 4.0 is the MINIMUM level for a daily use BHA. Skin with very clogged pores may need a higher concentration, up to 5%, and lower pH.

A pH test strip or litmus strip will give you the pH. (buy some made with a lower pH range, not all strips go from 1 – 14) Strips will not be as accurate as a true electronic pH gage, but for home use it will be close enough.

About Acids...

A 10% (free acid value) glycolic acid (AHA) gives "Significant increase in squamous cell turnover.
Moderate increase in collagen deposition." In other words, 10% concentration of AHA acid working on the skin is enough to remove damaged cells, and rebuild skin collagen or firmness.

How the pH affects the amount of acid available for the skin to use (FAV)...

20% AHA at a pH of 2.55 has a free acid value (FAV) of 18.6%. (It's only REALLY an 18.6% product in effectiveness, because of the pH over 2.0.)

20% at pH 3.4 drops to 14.6% FAV.

20% at pH 4.3 drops to 4.8% FAV.

When a 20% AHA product has a pH over 3 it has lost approximately 25% of its exfoliation activity. Once pH reaches 4.0, it loses 75% of its exfoliation activity. This is why so many commercial products are ineffective!

BHAs are effective at slightly different ranges, so the FAV scale differs a bit, but the principle is similar.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 05 2013 at 11:20am

Layering Products and Wait Times

pH affects the acid you use and how it works. Another consideration is not to disturb an acid while it is on your skin, which can alter pH and affect its action on the skin.

Generally speaking an acid is effective for approximately 20 to 30 minutes on the skin surface. After that point the skin pH has risen enough to lessen the exfoliation action on the skin, and the acid is effectively neutralized. During this 30 minute time frame, the acid is working at effective levels. Anything applied after 30 minutes will not hamper the effect of your acid, as the pH has already changed, and the acid action has slowed a lot.

Acids that are a high (peel) percentage such as 30% and 40% and above are more concentrated. Therefore their activity can continue for longer, so their action should be stopped at appropriate time with the use of a base rinse (baking soda and water) or a mild detergent cleanser. This will effectively halt the exfoliation action, by raising the skin pH.

Washing the skin with an cleanser of pH over 5.5 can slow or lessen the effect of your acid, because the acid must now deal with the high pH level on the skin. The bigger the range difference, the more this will affect your acid action, especially in the case of acids at 2.0 pH or less. So if you use a high pH cleanser, you should wait 30 minutes before using a pH-dependent product, to allow the skin to regulate its pH down to about 5.5. Or you can use an acidic toner to adjust the pH of the skin down before applying the product.

Most commercial astringents and toners contain high levels of irritants such as alcohols, Witch Hazel, Menthols, Mint oils, etc. These should be avoided, as they can damage the skin barrier. If you want to use a toner to adjust pH to lower levels, either use a liquid acid like Paula's Choice BHA or AHA liquid first, or a very dilute mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and distilled water. Vivant's Mandelic Acid toner is another good option, though it is expensive.

The best option is simply to use a cleanser with a pH of 5.5.

If you use a BHA product with 3.2 pH, then immediately apply a treatment product on top with 6.5 pH, the exfoliation action of your BHA is reduced by 75%. So applying a higher pH to your pH dependent acid will neutralize it sooner, or stop its action at the point you added the higher pH product.

Other products are also pH dependent. L-Ascorbic Acid forms of Vitamin C are pH dependent. For good stability and effective action, a good Ascorbic acid product is about 2.0 pH. Since Vitamin C absorbs faster into the skin, you can generally have a shorter wait of about 10 to 15 minutes.

Some Good General Rules

(This info comes from DebbieNIR, former host of the Diana Yvonne Skin Care Board.)
1. Use a mild, non-irritating, detergent-free cleanser with a 5.5 pH or lower.
2. If your cleanser pH is higher then 5.5, wait 15 to 30 minutes after cleansing to use a low pH AHA or BHA. (Or use a toner to acidify the skin first.)
3. Acids should be applied to freshly cleansed skin.
4. Both acid percentage and product pH must be used to factor total effective acid amounts. (FAV)
5. If using AHA and BHA together, always apply AHA first (after cleansing) UNLESS the BHA solution pH is equal to or lower than your AHA. In this case, apply the BHA first, because it penetrates skin oils better, and will enhance the AHA effectiveness.
6. Acids can be used in many different ways which affect wait times.
a) If a 2% or 5% BHA product is used, and rinsed off, WAIT until it is rinsed off to proceed with other products. (BHA washes are less effective than leave-on products.)
b) If a 2% or 5% BHA product is applied and left on the skin, but no AHA product is following, wait 30 minutes before applying next product. This allows the BHA to work at its most effective, and exfoliate at optimal levels.
c) If a 2% or 5% BHA is applied and left on the skin before a rinse-off AHA, you do not need to wait to apply the AHA IF the pH of both products is similar and compatible. If you rinse the AHA off after 5 minutes of application (over the BHA) you have also stopped the BHA action at 5 minutes. Both should have a lower effective pH. If the AHA has a higher pH, it will also raise the pH of the BHA, affecting its action also.
d) If a 2% or 5% BHA is being left on the skin, before a leave on AHA, you don't need to wait to apply the AHA. Apply BHA, then AHA, then wait a total of 30 minutes with both products layered, then proceed to next product application. (This is assuming that both acids have a low pH.)
e) Do not apply a higher pH BHA before a lower pH AHA. The higher pH product will hinder the lower pH product. Wait 30 minutes between both acids, applying the lowest pH first.
f) If using a higher BHA after a lower AHA product, apply lower pH AHA first. Wait 30 minutes for it to work. Then apply higher pH BHA on top, and wait 30 minutes for the BHA to work. Then apply other products on top.
g) If you need to rinse products off sooner then 30 minutes to shorten activity and lessen irritation, you can rinse with water, before proceeding to the next step. If using a high strength AHA or BHA, at strong 'professional' peel level strength, you will neutralize product with baking soda and water, and rinse off before proceeding to your next step.
h) Apply low pH before high pH.

Layering Other Products

This information is also from DebbieNIR's posts on the Diana Yvonne Skin Care Board.

Retinols, Retinoids, Vitamin A products
These products are often pH dependent. Apply to clean dry skin, once to twice a day. Wait at least 15 to 30 minutes before adding other active products. In the case of retinols, retinyls, and retinals, wait at least 30 and preferably 45 minutes to allow the active ingredient to convert to retinoic acid within your skin.

This is an eye treatment product with soy. It is not an exfoliate. Should be applied to clean skin, once or twice a day. Apply after acids and cleansers, before copper and other treatments. Wait 10 minutes to allow it to absorb. Then apply other products.

Can be used after acids and cleansing. Formulation type can dictate placement. Liquids, gels and serums can be applied before CP serums, lotions and creams. Lotion and cream DMAE should be applied after CP serums and creams. Wait 10 minutes to allow product to absorb.

Product Application by Type

This is a rough guide for product application, based on type/absorbency. This is for products that are not pH dependent, nor limited by activity type. The thickness of a product, dictates its placement. You cannot apply a thin product (like a liquid) over a thick product (like a cream) and expect it to absorb well. The cream can be a barrier to the thinner product.

-Toner (pH-adjusting product in a liquid, watery form)
-Exfoliant (AHA or BHA, usually requires a wait time)
-Serum (Copper Serum, treatment Serums, DMAE thicker products)
-Gel (DMAE, Green Cream, Differin)
-Oils (Emu, Jojoba, Almond, etc)

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 05 2013 at 12:46pm
Lower pH for the hair, lower pH for the skin ..OMG !!!

So how the above Article(s) adjust my routine ??? (I think..)
After cleansing, which more than likely raised my skins' pH, I apply my toner (acidic diluted ACV), then my Kojic Acid Soap creating an acidic environment for the Soap to be more effective. (I think)...
After rinsing I can wait for my skin's' pH to return to 'normal', then apply Serum, or maybe, apply toner to speed up that process.
This is beginning to get complicated. I will give this a try, and check its effectiveness. I also need to find out the pH of Kojic Soap.

Now, I cannot apply toner to my body, so if the pH of Kojic Soap is low enough, I will be okay. I can also rinse with diluted ACV before soaping . No I am NOT obsessed . If I am going to invest time and money to remove these sun-damaged layers, I want to do it properly, so it will be effective.

The Amlactin Lotion, while it contains 12% Lactic Acid its pH is higher than is required for effective exfoliation. It's a great Lotion nonetheless.
My plan is to increase Lactic Acid of this Lotion to 15%, which will give me exfoliation, by lowering its pH.
If I tolerate this lotion at 15% Lactic Acid, I will DIY my own Lotion. Amlactin on sale is $13.79, and I will still have to 'doctor' it. I did mention previously that "I AM FRUGAL"

It's a work in progress

to Kimmaytube (YouTube) for introducing me to making a proper pH Leave-In Conditioner for my hair

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 05 2013 at 9:36pm
Having lots of light bulb moments today.

During the day my skin is at its normal pH, so why would I take a shower with Dove, then do the Kojie San Soap. That just raises the pH of my skin...DUH !!!!! Plus, that is having 2 showers....DUH !!!! Wasting my DOVE Soap DUH, DUH !!!   Kojic is after all, A SOAP !!!
Anyway, I left it on for about 35 minutes.
Hope this will be more effective. I will have to break down and purchase pH strips.

It has been 7 days since I started using Kojic Soap and Amlactin, and I have already noticed a slight change in the discoloration on my forearms . This was after my Salt Bath on Sunday. I thought it was just my imagination . I am not going to do cartwheels yet (I can't ), but I am hopeful.
I have a long way to go. Spending 3 weeks in the Caribbean this Summer gave those mosquitoes too much time to literally eat me up.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 06 2013 at 1:42pm
There are going to be ups and downs during this process. Some days we will see great improvements, then discolorations may reappear. This is a part of the exfoliation process, because it's not just the surface layer that is damaged. So, as the surface exfoliates the skin may look great, but the also damaged underlying layer surfaces . I am saying all this to say that I was apprehensive about being happy and putting it here when I show improvement, then 2 days later I will have to "eat Crow" because something resurfaces
Anyway, my heavily discolored cheek area is clearing, not lightening!!
Where it started is less dark, but the areas to where it spread is 'virtually' gone. The left face was obviously darker because it had more sun exposure while driving. The right face discoloration is less visable 'today'.
It is possible that I am seeing improvements so soon because I have not had much sun exposure since starting. This in NOT intentional. I am just that kinda girl. I am happy at home as long as I have the Coffee Pot going, my TV, Computer, a couple good Books, and an occasional glass of Wine

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 06 2013 at 2:19pm
My plan to officially start week-2 tomorrow. I will like to shower with the Kojie soap twice daily, maybe 2-3x/week. This is so 'iffy' about this since I don't just wake up, and get going . It takes a couple cups of Coffee, and putzing around before I can get going. Then my showers will only be about 4 hrs apart . I am not big on changes to my normal routine, I am a creature of habit !!

I am hoping not to have to do a L A peel on my face. I had a series of them done in '97 by a Beverly Hill Dermatologist, and it burned like heck. He also did not advise sun protection/limitation, or proper skin care as a whole !!   Right now it is really hard for me to imagine applying Lactic Acid to my face. It is okay in my Lotion, but just plain old L A . I may consider 'peeling' my elbows, knees, and maybe some stubborn scars on my lower legs. We shall see . In the meantime, I will continue to treat these stubborn areas with Nadinola twice daily and hope for the best

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 06 2013 at 8:28pm
Since I will attempt doing 2 Kojic Soap showers tomorrow, I skipped it tonight, and shaved my legs instead. Hopefully any nicks I may have gotten will have a chance to heal. I am pretty certain I will not have a problem with that since I used Amlactin lotion without unusual sensation on my legs.

I am going to have to make more of my Oil blend, it was fashioned after one made by Naptural85 (YouTube). It's good for my hair and skin. . I will be using this after my morning shower, and Amlactin in the evening.

Having this night off from 'Kojie' is liberating

Hope I can really follow through in the a.m.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 06 2013 at 9:02pm
I will just like to add (sorry I did not do this earlier ), that this thread is NOT PROPRIETARY. It is named My Journey to Better Skin Care, but it can be anyone's 'My Journey To Better Skin Care'. So if you are also on a 'Journey', feel free to join in.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 10:01pm
Oh WOW!!!

Going outdoors today was an eye opener . Ture lighting is so obvious. My facial skin is coming back to natural it's unbelievable, especially in just 1-week. I have been looking at this face for so many years(5), normal just seemed NORMAL, until you can see something different . I really missed what I used to be. It was right there at my fingertips.   I just need to keep doing what I've been doing over the past few days. Easy, peasy WOW !!!!
Nothing I've been doing has caused hardship or difficulty.
No matter what you've read, try it as written, then if you're comfortable with it, then you can tinker. My mind is now so full of ideas, the sky's the limit.... The Butterfly is coming out of the cocoon!!!
So far I've only invested $30, and I've not used it up all up. Slow and steady .
I did return the Sunblock I purchased earlier and got one with Zinc, but it was SPF 30. To me, having the Zinc at a lower SPF was better. We shall see

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 11:14pm
Plan for tomorrow...

Shower in the morning with Kojic Soap. allow it to dry, then dress for the day. Shower in the evening, apply my skin Oils for sleep.

My results so far has been leaps and bounds from what i've expected in such a short time. Trying different combinations have had no negative results. So I am ready to tinker with it, if not I can always go back to what worked.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 3:34pm
So I am having anxiety because I am seeing such improvement in my skin that I want to go full steam ahead. However, I must rein it in because exfoliating is a process. Can't help it though, because I don't have any negative reaction to what I've been doing, it makes me feel that I can handle more.


My hands and feet are also doing very well . That was a concern for me since my hands are being washed frequently(I'm a bit of a germaphobe), but treating it with the soap and Amlactin, and wearing gloves at night has worked. My Ears are also exfoliating. That was tricky because I was concerned for my hair, but it is working out well

It is much easier exfoliating during the day, and applying the oil at night. This may have been more difficult if I had to go out to work, but still do-able.

Can't wait for the first month to go by, so I can be a tad more aggressive with the process.

Must keep reminding myself.....S l o w and s t e a d y

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 7:52pm
Understanding the Ingredients in Skin Care Products(Also Called 'Facial Cosmetics')

Skin Care and Cosmetics
Know Your Own Skin Type Before Choosing Skin Care Products

The information in this document will help you understand the latest ingredients in skin care products that may benefit your skin.

Use this information to sort through various skin care products on the market. If you’re still unsure which skin care products are right for you, ask your dermatologist or consult with a skin esthetician at your local salon or beauty counter.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)
Over-the-counter skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids) have become increasingly popular over the last five years. In the U.S. alone, there are over 200 manufacturers of skin care products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids. Creams and lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids may help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation and age spots, and may help decrease enlarged pores. Side effects of alpha-hydroxy acids include mild irritation and sun sensitivity. For that reason, sunscreen also should be used every morning. To help avoid skin irritation with alpha-hydroxy acids, it is advisable to start with a product with concentrations of AHA of 10 to 15 percent. Also, make sure you ease into it. You want to get your skin used to alpha-hydroxy acids, so you should only initially apply the skin care product every other day, gradually working up to daily application.

Beta-hydroxy acid (salicylic acid)
Salicylic acid also has been studied for its effect on skin that has aged prematurely due to exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It exfoliates skin and can improve the texture and color of the skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, also helps with acne. There are many skin care products available that contain salicylic acid. Some are available over-the-counter and others require a doctor's prescription. Studies have shown that salicylic acid is less irritating than skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids, while providing similar improvement in skin texture and color.

Skin care products containing hydroquinone are popularly referred to as bleaching creams or lightening agents. These skin care products are used to lighten hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and dark spots related to pregnancy or hormone therapy (melasma or chloasma). Some over-the-counter skin care products contain hydroquinone, but your doctor can also prescribe a cream with a higher concentration of hydroquinone if your skin doesn’t respond to over-the-counter treatments. If you are allergic to hydroquinones, you may benefit from use of products containing kojic acid instead.

Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is a more recent remedy for the treatment of pigment problems and age spots. Discovered in 1989, kojic acid has a similar effect as hydroquinone. Kojic acid is derived from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective as a lightening agent, inhibiting production of melanin (brown pigment).

This is a derivative of vitamin A, and you will see that a lot of skin care products contain retinol. Retinol’s stronger counterpart is tretinoin, which is the active ingredient in Retin-A and Renova. If your skin is too sensitive to use Retin-A, retinol is an excellent alternative. Here’s why skin responds to skin care products with retinol: vitamin A has a molecular structure that’s tiny enough to get into the lower layers of skin, where it finds collagen and elastin. Retinol is proven to improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and color, and your skin’s hydration levels. You may also hear about retinyl palmitate. This falls into the same family as retinol, but if the skin care product you choose contains retinyl palmitate, you will need to use more of this product than one that contains retinol to get the same effect.

L-Ascorbic Acid
This is the only form of vitamin C that you should look for in your skin care products. There are many skin care products on the market today that boast vitamin C derivatives as an ingredient (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate, for example), but L-ascorbic acid is the only useful form of vitamin C in skin care products. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant that is proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen as well, which is essential since your body’s natural collagen production decreases as you age. Sun exposure will also accelerate the decrease in collagen. Studies have shown that vitamin C helps to minimize fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic Acid
Skin care products containing this substance are often used in conjunction with vitamin C products to assist in effective penetration. Hyaluronic acid (also known as a glycosaminoglycan) is often touted for its ability to "reverse" or stop aging. In news reports, you might have heard of hyaluronic acid as the "key to the fountain of youth." This is because the substance occurs naturally (and quite abundantly) in humans and animals, and is found in young skin, other tissues, and joint fluid. Hyaluronic acid is a component of the body’s connective tissues, and is known to cushion and lubricate. As you age, however, the forces of nature destroy hyaluronic acid. Diet and smoking can also affect your body’s level of hyaluronic acid over time. Skin care products with hyaluronic acid are most frequently used to treat wrinkled skin.

Copper Peptide
Copper peptide is often referred to as the most effective skin regeneration product, even though it’s only been on the market since 1997. Here’s why: Studies have shown that copper peptide promotes collagen and elastin production, and also acts as an antioxidant. It also promotes production of glycosaminoglycans (think hyaluronic acid, as an example). Studies have also shown that copper-dependent enzymes increase the benefits of the body’s natural tissue building processes.The substance helps to firm, smooth, and soften skin, doing it in less time than most other anti-aging skin care products. Clinical studies have found that copper peptides also remove damaged collagen and elastin from the skin and scar tissue because they activate the skin’s system responsible for those functions.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
You may have heard of alpha-lipoic acid as "the miracle in a jar" for its anti-aging effects. It’s a newer, ultra-potent antioxidant that helps fight future skin damage and helps repair past damage. Alpha-lipoic acid has been referred to as a "universal antioxidant" because it’s soluble in both water and oil, which permits its entrance to all parts of the cell. Due to this quality, it is believed that alpha-lipoic acid can provide the greatest protection against damaging free radicals when compared with other antioxidants. Alpha-lipoic acid diminishes fine lines, gives skin a healthy glow, and boosts levels of other antioxidants, such as vitamin C.

DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol)
If you’ve heard of fish referred to as brain food, you can thank DMAE. This substance is naturally produced in the brain, but DMAE is also present in anchovies, salmon and sardines, boosting the production of acetylcholine, which is important for proper mental functions. DMAE in skin care products shows remarkable effects when applied topically to skin, resulting in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 8:02pm
Skin Care and Aging

Your skin changes with age. It becomes thinner, loses fat, and no longer looks as plump and smooth as it once did. Your veins and bones can be seen more easily. Scratches, cuts, or bumps can take longer to heal. Years of sun tanning or being out in the sunlight for a long time can lead to wrinkles, dryness, age spots, and even cancer. But there are things you can do to help your skin.

Dry skin and itching
Many older people suffer from dry skin, often on their lower legs, elbows, and lower arms. Dry skin feels rough and scaly. There are many possible reasons for dry skin, such as:

Not drinking enough liquids
Staying out in the sun
Being in very dry air
Having stress
Losing sweat and oil glands (common with age)
Dry skin also can be caused by health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease. Using too much soap, antiperspirant, or perfume and taking hot baths will make dry skin worse.

Because older people have thinner skin, scratching itches can cause bleeding that can lead to infection. Some medicines make the skin itchier. Itching can cause sleep problems. If your skin is very dry and itchy, see your doctor.

Moisturizers like lotions, creams, or ointments can soothe dry, itchy skin. They should be used everyday. Try taking fewer baths and using milder soap to help your dry skin. Warm water is better than hot water for your skin. Some people find that a humidifier (an appliance that adds moisture to a room) helps.

Older people may bruise more easily than younger people. And, it can take longer for the bruises to heal. Some medicines or illnesses cause easier bruising. If you see bruises and you don’t know how you got them, especially on parts of your body usually covered by clothing, see your doctor.

Over time, skin begins to wrinkle. Things in the environment, like ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, make the skin less elastic. Gravity can cause skin to sag and wrinkle.

Certain habits like frowning also wrinkle the skin. Some of these habits are easier to change than others. You may not be able to change how you lie when you sleep, but you can quit smoking. Not smoking is a great way to prevent wrinkles.

A lot of claims are made about how to make wrinkles go away. Not all of them work. Some can be painful or even dangerous and many must be done by the doctor. Talk with a doctor specially trained in skin problems (a dermatologist) or your regular doctor if you are worried about wrinkles.

Age spots and skin tags
Age spots are sometimes called “liver spots,” but they have nothing to do with the liver. These flat, brown spots are often caused by years in the sun. They are bigger than freckles, flat, and many times show up on areas like the face, hands, arms, back, and feet. Age spots are harmless, but if they bother you, talk to a dermatologist about removing them. Also, a sunscreen or sunblock may prevent more sun damage.

Skin tags are small, usually flesh-colored growths of skin that have a raised surface. They are a common problem as people age, especially for women. They are most often found on the eyelids, neck, and body folds such as the arm pit, chest, and groin. Skin tags are harmless, but they can become irritated. A doctor can remove them if they bother you.

Skin cancer
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The main cause of skin cancer is the sun. Sunlamps and tanning booths can also cause skin cancer. Anyone can get cancer, but people with fair skin that freckles easily are at greatest risk. Skin cancer may be cured if it is found before it spreads to other parts of the body.

There are three types of skin cancers. Two types, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. These types of cancer are found mostly on parts of the skin exposed to the sun, like the head, face, neck, hands, and arms, but can happen anywhere on your body. The third and most dangerous type of skin cancer is melanoma. It is rarer than the other types, but can spread to other organs and be deadly.

Check your skin regularly, like once a month, for things that may be cancer. Look for changes such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a bleeding mole. Also, check moles, birthmarks, or other parts of the skin for the “ABCDE’s.” ABCDE stands for:

A = asymmetry (one half of the growth looks different from the other half)
B = borders that are irregular
C = color changes or more than one color
D = diameter greater than the size of a pencil eraser
E = evolving, meaning changes in size, shape, symptoms (itching, tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or shades of color

Don’t wait for the area to hurt—skin cancer isn’t usually painful. See your doctor right away if you have any of these signs.

Keep your skin healthy
The best way to keep your skin healthy is to be careful in the sun.

Limit time in the sun. Try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are strongest. Don’t be fooled by cloudy skies. The sun’s rays can pass through clouds. You can also get sunburned if you are in water, so be careful when you are in a pool, lake, or the ocean.

Use sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) number of 15 or higher. It’s best to choose sunscreens with “broad spectrum” on the label. “Water resistant” sunscreen stays on your skin even if you get wet or sweat a lot, but it isn’t waterproof and needs to be put on about every 2 hours.

Wear protective clothing. A hat with a wide brim can shade your neck, ears, eyes, and head. Look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of the sun’s rays. If you have to be in the sun, wear loose, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants or long skirts.

Avoid tanning. Don’t use sunlamps or tanning beds. Tanning pills are not approved by the FDA and might not be safe.

Your skin may change with age. But remember, there are things you can do to help. Check your skin often. If you find any changes that worry you, see your doctor.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 8:07pm
Dry skin care

Dry skin is defined as flaking or scaling when there is no evidence of dermatitis, or inflammation, of the skin. It is most prominent on the shins, hands, and sides of the abdomen , and can be associated with itching. It is more common during the winter months, when humidity is low, and improves in the summer time. Some people also have a genetic, or hereditary, tendency to develop dry skin. In addition, elderly people tend to have more trouble with dry skin due to the natural changes in skin that occur with age.

Treatment is important because extensively dry skin can lead to dermatitis, or eczema. Dry skin may be prevented or treated by:

Taking lukewarm baths or showers
Limiting baths/showers to 5 to 10 minutes
Applying a moisturizer right after drying off from a shower or washing your hands
Using a moisturizing body soap and hand soap
Using heavier creams or ointments during the winter months and lighter lotions in the summer
If the above regimen does not improve the condition of the dry skin, it is possible that the flaking is a sign of underlying dermatitis (which is also called eczema). There are different types of dermatitis that may cause dry, itchy, flaking skin. They include:

Seborrheic dermatitis -- a red, dermatitis — a red, scaly, mildly itchy rash on the scalp, eyebrows, and sides of the nose in areas that contain many oil glands.
Allergic contact dermatitis— a rash that results when the skin comes in contact with a substance that causes an immune reaction, such as poison ivy. Allergic contact dermatitis of the hands often causes scaling on the fingers.
Atopic dermatitis — long-lasting type of dermatitis usually starting in childhood, and tends to run in families. It also may cause excessively dry, itchy skin on the face and body.
Athlete's foot — dry flaking on the soles of the feet caused by a fungus.
Sun protection
Protecting your skin from the sun is important because the sun emits ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Over time, UVR exposure causes many changes in the skin, including wrinkles, discoloration, freckles or age spots, benign (non-cancerous) growths, and pre-cancerous, or cancerous areas. In fact, most skin cancers are related to sun exposure.

UVR consists of two main subtypes: UVB and UVA. UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and tanning. UVA rays are believed to be responsible for photoaging--the damage that occurs to the skin from many years of exposure to the sun. Both types have been implicated in promoting cancer. Most sunscreen products available prevent sunburns by blocking UVB rays. Newer sunscreen products are also successful in blocking UVA rays. For that reason, sun protection recommendations emphasize certain behaviors, as well as the use of sunscreens. The recommendations include:

Avoiding midday sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Wearing wide-brimmed hats, long long-sleeved shirts, and pants
Using a generous amount of sunscreen and reapplying it frequently (every 2- to 3 hours)
Using sunscreens that have a sun protection factor (SPF) greater than 15, and that have UVA and UVB coverage
Avoiding tanning beds
Protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure may decrease vitamin D levels, and a higher dose of vitamin D intake may be necessary for individuals with known risk factors for vitamin D insufficiency, such as dark skin, the elderly, photosensitive individuals, obese individuals, or those with fat malabsorption.

Facial skin care for acne-prone skin
If you are prone to acne, choose a cleanser specially formulated for acne. These products often contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which help to clear acne sores. Clean your face gently, as trauma to the acne breakouts may worsen the acne or cause scarring. Avoid harsh mechanical scrubbing of skin and picking lesions. Try to minimize your use of facial moisturizers. If you need to use a moisturizer, use only light, non-comedogenic moisturizers, which do not aggravate acne. Also, women should use an oil-free foundation, as heavy makeup or other cosmetic products that block pores may cause a flare-up of acne.

Facial skin care for mature skin
Roughness, wrinkling, irregular pigmentation (coloration), inelasticity, enlarged sebaceous (oil) glands, precancerous and cancerous lesions sometimes occur with aged and photoaged skin. Sunscreens and sun protection are important to prevent further progression of photoaging. Furthermore, smoking has been shown to accelerate aging of skin, so stopping smoking is important for good skin health. In addition, a well-balanced diet--with or without a multivitamin--helps the skin get the nutrition it needs to help repair ongoing damage from the sun and other environmental elements. Many topical non-prescription and prescription products are currently available for anti-aging purposes, including:

Tretinoin (Retin-A® and Renova®) — Retin-A is a prescription medication initially developed to treat acne. In addition, it was discovered that it also improved skin texture and color when used over an extended period of time. Tretinoin exfoliates the skin (removes a dead layer of skin cells), helps even out pigmentation and minimizes fine lines. Many people can benefit from using tretinoin or related products at bedtime followed by a cream or lotion containing glycolic acid. Side effects of tretinoin include redness, peeling, tightness, and swelling. You may be able to minimize these side effects by initially using tretinoin every other night and then — over the first month — gradually increasing the frequency to nightly. Tretinoin also makes the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet rays from the sun, and we recommend use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen in the morning.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) — Alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids) are found as ingredients of numerous skin products. In the United States alone, there are approximately 185 manufacturers of products containing AHAs. Creams and lotions with AHA may help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation, age spots, and may help decrease enlarged pores. Side effects of AHAs include mild irritation and sun sensitivity. For that reason, sunscreen also should be used every morning.

Beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid) — Salicylic acid also has been studied for its effect on photoaged skin. It exfoliates skin, and can improve the texture and color of the skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, also helps with acne. There are many products available that contain salicylic acid. Some are available over-the-counter, and others require a doctor's prescription.

Hydroquinone — Hydroquinone is a bleaching agent that is used to remove hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and dark spots related to pregnancy, hormone therapy, or excessive sun exposure.

© Copyright 1995-2009 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 09 2013 at 3:15pm
So I am sticking with the programme, except last night I slept with the kojie soap on, dry brushed this morning before showering, and applying a Vit-C Lotion and my Oil mix. I think I will repeat this tonight except, after the soap has absorbed, I will apply Amlactin. My skin seem to tolerate each of these well, maybe a combination will be better, I don't know, but will try it .

Since starting this I noticed a few 'bumps' on my face. I have never had an acne problem, but considered this may be a part of the process. Those 'bumps' never surfaced or erupted, instead they have decreased in size, so I will tolerate them and see what happens in the future.

All in all, I am sticking with the programme, not adding anything new, or changing too much although I am tempted to .

I am noticing a few lighter splotches on my face, hopefull this will all come together since I am not expecting everything to even out all at once.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 09 2013 at 4:40pm
I did not elaborate....I have been using 'Serious Skin Care' Vit-C line for a few years. I have been using their facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 while at home. It cause irritation if used within 1-inch of my eyes. Lately I purchased Neutrogena Helioplex SPF 70, but returned it because it left a whitish hue, plus it did not have Zinc Oxide. Instead I got the CVS brand SPF 30, but it has Zinc Oxide. It left no white hue, and is causing no eye irritation .

Layering products on my face is time consuming, but necessary for now, given time, I WILL find a way to minimize those steps . However, doing it on my skin is not acceptable . incorporating Zinc Ozxide into my body lotion should solve that problem..

I am seeing progress over all, even though I see myself multiple times per day , I want to jump ahead..... I must keep reminding myself

Patience Grasshopper

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 09 2013 at 4:48pm
Originally posted by Benni Benni wrote:

I did not elaborate....I have been using 'Serious Skin Care' Vit-C line for a few years. I have been using their facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 while at home. It cause irritation if used within 1-inch of my eyes. Lately I purchased Neutrogena Helioplex SPF 70, but returned it because it left a whitish hue, plus it did not have Zinc Oxide. Instead I got the CVS brand SPF 30, but it has Zinc Oxide. It left no white hue, and is causing no eye irritation .

Layering products on my face is time consuming, but necessary for now, given time, I WILL find a way to minimize those steps . However, doing it on my skin is not acceptable .   Incorporating Zinc Ozxide into my body lotion should solve that problem..

I am seeing progress over all, even though I see myself multiple times per day I want to jump ahead..... I must keep reminding myself

Patience Grasshopper

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 09 2013 at 9:35pm
So here is Saturday night..
Showered with my Dove liquid, Soaped with Kojic Soap. it absorbed within 5 mins, waited few minutes,then applied Amlactin all over including my face. The back of my neck still burned/sting (still unsure of how to describe that sensation]. It was not unbearable so I left it on for 40 mins . Washed face and back of neck, usual night time facial routine, apply Oil to back of neck. I am not too worried about my neck, it should be okay by morning.
Speaking of the morning...I guess I will be doing the "Bath" thing tomorrow morning.   I am a little better prepared, I now have a bath pillow, a stop clock (no more than 30 mins) , plus I still have not completed last weeks' movie "White House Down". Every body is asking 'how could I have not fininhed watching that movie'?. I guess it's becauuse it was associated with the bath.
.    I feel like such a DORK .
Maybe next week I will have a little 'Rubber Duckie' .

Tomorrow is of course.. Another Day

Posted By: sunshine321511
Date Posted: Nov 10 2013 at 5:03pm
Hey Benni - I am just finding your postings. These are quite educational.  I have learned a lot and am also on a skin care journey.  thanks for your postings.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 10 2013 at 6:58pm
Originally posted by sunshine321511 sunshine321511 wrote:

Hey Benni - I am just finding your postings. These are quite educational.  I have learned a lot and am also on a skin care journey.  thanks for your postings.

Thank You sunshine
I was just journaling and decided to do it this way instead of writing it in a notebook, truthfully, sometimes I cannot read my handwriting . I spend a lot of time reading other sites and copy what I think is useful info for myself and others.

I appreciate your comments, especially hearing that someone is finding it helpful.
Thank you

ps Good Luck on your 'Skin Care Journey'. Care to share some of your experiences

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 10 2013 at 7:47pm
I am soooo PO'd that my very lengthy post just vanished into Cyberspace . I just cannot do it again right now...Maybe be later

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 10 2013 at 9:30pm
I had a not so restful sleep dreaming of my salt bath today . I woke up remembering I had frequent salt baths as a child, not in the confines of a tub, but in the waters of the blue Caribbean Sea .
Putting 2-cups of Epsom Salt in the tub of water, and having the water at a perfect temp did the trick. I happened to taste the water, but it did not taste salty. Not sure how it was supposed to taste, I hope I will not have to break down and buy a bar of Sea salt Soap . I did almost 30 minutes
Giving my body a break today, just massaged in a Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Oil mix I had for winter hair, onto my skin.
My face does not get a break...The usual nighttime routine.

My blemishes are more obvious probably because my skin is getting lighter, and the blemishes have not yet caught up . Elbows are smoother and lighter . My hands and feet are keeping up.

This stuff does not play well with nail polish. Fortunately I only use clear polish.

While the Salt Baths are becoming more tolerable, I have yet to see a visible benefit. But it is part of the process, so I will comply

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 11 2013 at 12:11pm

Biological Sulfur and Your Health

MSM was isolated by Robert Herschler and Dr. Stanley Jacob of the University of Oregon Medical School in the early 80's. Their research revealed that MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a natural sulfur compound found in all living things. It is actually one of the most prominent compounds in our bodies, just behind water and sodium. A 160 pound man has approximately 4 pounds of sulfur as body weight.
Scientists almost missed MSM when studying nutritional needs because it plays such a small part in our food chain. However, in his research, Dr. Jacob determined that the sulfur in MSM, called sulfonyl, is as safe and as important as vitamin C in our diet, unlike the bad sulfurs: sulfas, sulfates, sulfites and sulfides.

Why is MSM Important?

MSM originates in the ocean and reaches the human food chain through rainfall. It is the prime source of bio-available sulfur, which is lost from our food by processing, drying, cooking and preserving. MSM is an important nutrient (not a drug or medicine) and is a component of over 150 compounds. It is needed by the body for healthy connective tissues and joint function, proper enzyme activity and hormone balance, along with the proper function of the immune system.

Because bio-nutritional sulfur plays such a major role in these healthy body functions and others, it was found that supplementation with MSM improves many health problems such as: allergies, asthma, emphysema, lung disfunction, arthritis, headaches, skin problems, stomach and digestive tract problems, circulation, cell osmosis and absorption.

MSM acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. It also inhibits muscle spasm and increases blood flow. MSM is critical to the formation of connective tissue of all types. MSM is a natural form of organic sulfur found in all living organisms, including human body fluids and tissues. Sulfur is found in many common foods, including raw milk, meat, fish and a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Why is it lacking in our diet?
However, processing, heating, storage, and preparation of foods destroys essential MSM sulfur. Without sufficient MSM sulfur in the body, unnecessary illness of varying types may result. Research has shown that MSM is helpful in improving joint flexibility, reducing stiffness and swelling, improving circulation and cell vitality, reducing pain and scar tissue, and in breaking up calcium deposits. According to Earl L. Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., MSM makes cells more permeable, enabling the body to flush out undesirable foreign particles.

"MSM softens the cell walls, allowing allergens, foreign proteins and any free radicals to be moved out of the system," Mindell states in his book, The MSM Miracle: Enhance Your Health with Organic Sulfur.
MSM is an odorless, water-soluble, white crystalline material that supplies a bioavailable form of dietary sulfur, which plays a major role in stabilizing and promoting numerous body functions. MSM is responsible for the flexible bond between cells, including those that make up the skin. It acts to block undesirable chemical and physical cross-linking or bonding of collagen which is associated with tough, aging skin. Approximately half of the total body sulfur is concentrated in the body's muscles, skin, and bones. It is present in keratin, the tough substance in the skin, nails and hair. Sulfur is necessary for making collagen, the primary constituent of cartilage and connective tissue, but it is also responsible for the conformation of body proteins through the formation of disulfide bonds, which hold connective tissue together. MSM does this in conjunction with vitamins and amino acids, and the process is going on 24 hours of every day. The body never stops making new cells, and this calls for an unceasing supply of MSM and all other essential nutrients. Tests conducted with laboratory animals indicated that wound healing occurred faster with a group receiving MSM, but even faster with both MSM and vitamin C supplementation. Beth M. Ley, in her book, MSM: Our Way Back to Health With Sulfur, lists common signs of sulfur deficiency, including slow wound healing, scar tissue, brittle hair or nails, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, acne, depression, and more. "The body is in a constant state of repair, but if we do not have all the necessary 'parts'", says Ley, the body will "produce weak, dysfunctional cells."

Think of it in terms of making concrete: one man brings water, one guy brings sand, and the other guy brings the cement. You have what you need to make concrete, but the guy bringing the cement keeps taking a break because he's tired. The final mixture or product you have is adobe and not concrete. Similarly, when cells need replacement and you're not giving your body the right balance of building materials, you start losing flexibility in body cells and start building up foreign proteins and free radicals in both cells and body fluids. MSM insufficiency can result in a diverse array of disorders.
MSM is non-allergenic, non-pyretic, and has no interfering or undesirable pharmacological effects. You cannot overdose with MSM - the body will use what it needs and flush out the rest without harm. Because it is also a free radical and foreign protein scavenger, MSM cleans the blood stream, so allergies to foods or pollens can be eliminated, sometimes in just a few days.

MSM is not a vitamin, nor a drug. It is a member of the sulfur family but should never be confused with sulfa drugs or DMSO. MSM is odorless, and does not produce intestinal gas or body odor, which may occur with other forms of sulfur. The formation of Keratin for hair and nail growth is dependent on MSM. MSM is also necessary for the catalytic functions of many enzymes, as they work with glutathione to regenerate vitamin C. MSM is therefore more important in the 'antioxidant network' than previously understood.

Studies suggest that the level of MSM in the body decreases with aging. As a dietary supplement, MSM is recommended for neutralizing and eliminating toxins as well as alleviating conditions of environmental and food allergies, pain from inflammatory disorders, gastrointestinal ailments, and infection.

"MSM works - that's true," says pain expert and assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, Ronald Lawrence, M.D., PhD. "But how it works ... has not been proven." In a double-blind study of MSM's impact on degenerative arthritis, Lawrence found that patients who ingested 2,250mg(two to three capsules) of MSM a day for six weeks felt an improvement in their pain reduction by 82 percent, on average. "I've been practicing medicine for 50 years, and in all those years, I've never seen a substance like this," he says. Researchers are not sure if MSM is so effective for arthritis because of its sulfur content, because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, or because of some yet-undiscovered mechanism. Some researchers are pointing to MSM as the possible explanation for why some cancers go into spontaneous remission. The answer here may lie in MSM's ability to assist in moving free radicals and foreign proteins out of the system.
A study published in 1986 showed that MSM was "effective in the chemoprevention of ... mammary cancers." (Study by Dr. D. McCabe, Dr. P. O'Dwyer, Dr. B. Sickle-Santanello, Dr. E. Woltering, Dr. H. Abou-Issa and Dr. A. James, published in the Archives of Surgery, 12/1986

According to a recent book by Lawrence, Jacob, and Zucker, entitled The Miracle of MSM, MSM can be a natural remedy for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis and bursitis, muscular soreness and athletic injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, post-traumatic inflammation and pain, heartburn and hyperacidity, headaches and back pain, and allergies. People taking MSM may notice other benefits, including softer skin, harder nails, thicker hair, and softening of scar tissue. Unlike aspirin, which offers immediate pain relief, MSM may take 2 - 4 weeks before you have significant improvement. "Except in rheumatoid patients - they've felt differences in just one day, and certainly by three or four days," according to Dr. Lawrence.

Dr. Lawrence has treated more than 1,000 patients with MSM. According to Lawrence, "It's safer than water." Patients at the Oregon Health Sciences University who have received oral MSM as part of their treatment show no toxic build-up, even after years of ingesting more than 2,000mg of MSM each day. It appears that the body uses what it requires and flushes out the rest within 12 hours. "The effects of MSM on rheumatoid arthritis almost mimic that of cortisone," says Dr. Lawrence, "and it's more effective for allergies than antihistamines - without the side effects." More info on MSM and allergies here.

Scar Tissue: Burn victim Bill Rich discovered MSM when a veterinarian friend had him try MSM. Bill's skin was flat, purple and leathery, up and down a majority of the right side of his body. After only a few days of taking MSM, Bill noticed an increase in stamina and energy, and, in time an astonishing effect on his scarred skin as it begam to heal, turn pink, and fill in. As of this writing, Bill had little more than a 2 inch section of skin that is still barely detectable after having more than 60 feet of skin graft scars.

Wrinkles: When the body replaces old skin cells, if there is a deficiency of MSM, the new cells are stiff and contribute to wrinkling. MSM supplementation helps the body replace bad cells with good, healthy, elastic cells. In time, wrinkles go away. Brown and black spots and skin tumors can be arrested and reversed as new cells replace the "insuffucient" cells.

Damaged Skin: It is the MSM in Aloe Vera leaves that sooths and repairs skin that has been cut, scraped, burned or damaged. The body then repairs the skin with the proper raw materials. MSM can be added to water, aloe vera gel, and other preparations for application to the skin. Best results are obtained when MSM is applied topically and taken internally.

Lung Dysfunction: Emphysema is not always caused by smoking. Horses and dogs get emphysema, and they don't smoke: It is a deficiency of MSM that causes this condition(welding fumes, smoke, etc. are an aggravation), and supplementation with MSM can reverse it. John Booth of Portland Oregon, states: "I worked in the shipyards as a welder down in the hull and smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day. I got emphysema; I was coughing and hurting most of the time. I started taking MSM, and after a year I have strong lungs that allow me to breathe easily. The MSM made it possible for me to continue on with my work and my life."

Diabetes: Even diabetics can benefit from MSM supplementation. Self-regulation of blood sugar can occur because MSM allows for proper absorption of blood sugars and insulin, and even repair of a damaged pancreas. When there is an MSM deficiency, cell membranes become less permeable, the pancreas overworks and ultimately fails, while blood sugars saturate the blood stream instead of entering the cells to provide nourishment and energy.

Sore Joints and Muscles: Testimonials of many athletes point to the ability of MSM to increase athletic stamina and eliminate sore muscles. This is because MSM increases the ability of the body to eliminate wastes and toxins at the cellular level, where good health begins.
Actor James Coburn is one person among many who are sold on MSM for arthritis pain.

Candida Yeast: This organism belongs in the large intestine, where it co-exists with acidophilous and prevents the take-over of harmful bacteria. When acidophilous is damaged or eliminated by antibiotic use, Candida can overgrow to the extent that it becomes "systemic", i.e. gets into the blood stream, where it competes for nutrients and emits waste materials that produce myriad symptoms of disease. MSM, by balancing the pH of the blood stream and tissues of the body, prevents Candida from living anywhere outside the intestines, where it belongs. More info on Candida and GSE, here.

Ulcers: Can be life-threatening. See a physician. Ulcers caused by too much stomach acid can be reversed by MSM supplementation.
Ulcers caused by h.Pylori bacteria can be treated with GSE.

MSM in powdered form is very easy to use. MSM is a white, crystalline powder that is odorless and somewhat bitter tasting. It mixes in water more easily than sugar, and just barely affects the taste. In juice or other beverages, it is undetectable.
More research on MSM and other sulfur-containing compounds is being conducted in clinics and laboratories all over the world.
Many find that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin with MSM is an even better source of relief from joint pain.
Search the National Library of Medicine:
There are over 23,000 abstracts on sulfur.

Take one to six capsules daily. Or take one to six grams of powder(one-quarter teaspoon equals just over one gram). For bulk MSM, a certificate of analysis is available. Our MSM is Certified 99.452% pure. The rest is moisture. (Capsules are made of gelatin and contain a very small amount of rice powder as a filler.)

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 11 2013 at 12:18pm
Topical Cream Contains Nutrients, Herbs and Essential Oils to Heal, Protect and Rejuvenate Skin

MSM Rejuvenator contains a therapeutic blend of MSM (methyl sufonyl methane), topical Ester C®, aloe vera, essential oils and herbal extracts that rejuvenate skin’s natural ability to protect itself against wrinkles and excessive dryness. It also provides prompt relief from irritation and damage caused by sun and wind.

MSM is an excellent source of useable organic sulfur, one of the most important raw materials for building healthy new cells. When MSM is used in combination with topical Ester C, new cells are more pliable and permeable. Fluids pass through the tissues more easily.(1) As damaged or aging cells are replaced with pliable, permeable new cells, the skin is restored and revitalized.

Organic Sulfur...Nature’s Beauty Mineral

Sulfur has been called "nature’s beauty mineral" because it is needed to keep the hair glossy and smooth, the complexion clear and youthful. It is necessary for synthesis of collagen and is prevalent in keratin, a tough protein substance that is essential to health and maintenance of skin, nails and hair.(1-4)

Sulfur is responsible for the flexible disulfide bonds between cells, including those that make up the skin. It blocks undesirable chemical and physical cross-linking or bonding of collagen which is associated with tough, aging skin. Consequently, MSM enhances tissue pliability and encourages repair of damaged skin. If there is insufficient sulfur in the body when new cells are being manufactured, the new cells will be rigid. This rigidity can contribute to cracking, wrinkling and unsightly scar tissue. When sufficient sulfur is present for new cells, the skin is softer, smoother and more flexible.(1) MSM provides the sulfur needed to rejuvenate skin.

Acne, including the severe acne rosacea, responds favorably to MSM. Adequate sulfur and vitamin C are also needed for healing. When the body is deficient in these nutrients, the new tissue produced will be elevated leaving an unattractive, raised scar. Because MSM makes the skin more permeable and pliant, it can also help prevent blistering and promote faster healing of sunburn or wind damage. Also, topical application of lotions containing sulfur have been recommended by dermatologists for seborrhea.(1,4)

A Truly Unique Property of MSM

MSM is licensed under nine U.S. patents and various foreign patents for both nutritional and cosmetic use, and its beneficial effects on the skin are seen both when taken internally and when applied to the skin externally.(2)

Skin is comprised of five layers. This multi-layered organ serves as a semi-permeable barrier to protect against efflux (inside to outside) and influx (outside to inside) movement of fluids and solutes. Because it has the ability to readily pass (efflux and influx) through the skin, MSM applied topically can improve pliability of even the deepest skin layers. MSM applied externally has been found in urine samples as much as 72 hours later. MSM taken internally is secreted in perspiration.(2)

Sulfur is also essential to maintenance of hair and nails. With MSM, whether taken internally or applied externally, nails show not only an increase in growth rate, but also increased toughness and resistance to chipping and cracking. This effect has been seen both in human nails and horses hoofs.(2)

Breakthrough in Skin Care with Ester-C® Topical

While vitamin C is an important skin nutrient, ordinary vitamin C is generally not effective for cosmetic use since it is unstable in water and prone to oxidation and decomposition. Ester-C® Topical is a liquid concentrate containing patented Ester-C® mineral ascorbates with C metabolites, dissolved in a specially formulated blend of polyglycols. It retains superior stability in oil/water emulsions typical of cosmetic formulations. It is also non-acidic, free of chemical derivatives and effectively penetrates deep down into the skin’s layers to help produce collagen and other support structures.

Vitamin C is an important skin nutrient because of its antioxidant properties which reduce free radical damage and because it is essential for collagen formation. Topically applied vitamin C has been shown to protect skin from sun damage. Unlike sun screens and sun blocks, it is equally effective against both UVA and UVB rays. When exposed to UV light, approximately 2/3 of the ascorbic acid in the skin is destroyed, leaving it defenseless. UVA and UVB rays produce oxidative damage to collagen, elastin, proteoglycans, cell membranes and nuclear constituents. Topical vitamin C can increase skin levels of vitamin C up to 20 times the normal skin level. This level could not be reached through diet and oral supplements.(5)

Vitamin C’s photoprotective effects appear to be the result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, not as a sun block. When it is absorbed into the skin, vitamin C seems to control the inflammatory response associated with UV exposure (ordinarily manifested as sunburn). If vitamin C levels are enhanced in the skin, the connective tissue breakdown that results in premature aging, wrinkles and even skin cancer may be prevented.(5)

Since vitamin C is absorbed into the skin, it is not washed off by water. Its protective effect against UV rays can last up to three days without being effected by bathing, exercise, clothing or make-up.(5)

Vitamin E, Herbal Extracts and Essential Oils

Many natural beauty products contain extra vitamin E for its smoothing and moisturizing properties. When added to cosmetics it provides protection against destructive chemical particles that compromise the integrity of skin. It is a natural moisturizer that promotes optimal water retention in the outer skin layer.(7)

Herbs and essential oils have a long history of use for skin health and beauty.

Aloe Vera is a remarkable antiseptic. It helps damaged skin tissue to heal and promotes the growth of healthy skin. It also helps clear blemishes without scarring.(7)

Jojoba Oil is used for acne, chapped skin, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin and wrinkles.(8)

Evening Primrose Oil gives added protection against skin irritations(8) and is a source of essential fatty acids.

Ginseng is used for age spots.(8)

Chamomile soothes skin irritations and promotes healing. It has a mildly astringent affect that cleans and tightens pores, while its natural glycosides (plant sugars) brighten the skin.(7)

Willow bark is a strong but benign antiseptic.(8)

Calendula is particularly good for very dry or chapped skin. It is also used to treat corns and calluses, athlete’s foot, non-viral verruca warts and other fungal infections.(7)

Sage is used to heal sores and skin eruptions.(8,9)

Japanese Green Tea polyphenols have been shown in animal studies to protect against multiple chemical tumor inducers and to cause partial regression of established skin papillomas.(6)

Cucumber is used for treating burns, chafing, or dry or flaking skin.(7)

Balm of Gilead is an excellent salve.(9)

Lemongrass has an astringent or tightening action.(8)

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 12 2013 at 12:16am
Well I am going to bump up my LA lotion . My skin has tolerated the 12% Lactic Acid well, but the progress is too slow. I am thinking dollars and cents. Increasing my lotion to 15% (nothing drastic ) should do the trick. Things tend to get stagnant after a while and just need a boost to get going again. Hopefull, it will be here when I start my week-3 on Thursday. I ordered enough LA to peel my stubborn elbows, and old blemishes. I feel like I am removing the training wheels from my Bike

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 12 2013 at 11:57am
So, I woke up this morning elated to see actual flaking from the corners of my mouth to the chin . Any other time I would be concerned that my skin was dry, now I see it as peeling !!!
I am so tempted to rub and scrub, but I shouldn't . Upping the Lactic Acid %age of the Lotion is not such a bad idea, especially for the body.
Now if I can only put down the 10x magnifying mirror, I can get on with my day

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 12 2013 at 6:04pm
copied from SCT written by ProudChoc

RA= Retin A

There are plenty of threads on here to help you with your questions but we understand it can be quite overwhelming. From what I gather, you have up to 2 months and you want to see some results by then? What I would suggest is not to jump straight to HQ4% because it probably wouldn't even work for you. What you need to do first is understand the basics of skin lightening in order to determine what products are best for you depending on what results you want to achieve.

The basics of skin lightening are:

Skin Building

Exfoliation: this is always the first step and will always occur whenever you want to lighten, have blemish-free skin, get rid of or prevent wrinkles, etc... You can do this a number of different ways, but this is what I would recommend for you:

•Purchase an exfoliating soap (I would suggest Likas Papaya Soap as it is mild and great for beginners)
•Invest in Exfoliating Gloves/Cloths/Mitts to (gently) scrub skin with a couple of times a week.
•Buy Dead Sea Salt Soap to use in the shower once or twice a week, OR take a weekly 45 min salt bath (half cup of salt+drop of lavender+drop of olive oil)
•Get a Lactic Acid Peel or Glycolic Acid Peel and mix with your favourite lotion (for percentages, check the DIY section or use the search function to find related threads)
Please please be careful and be patient with your skin, over-exfoliation is not pretty and scrubbing your skin to death does not get results quicker. Also please be very careful with the above acids, though they are Alpha Hydroxy Acids and therefore the mildest of peels, they are still acids and burns happen all the time if you don't do your research and use them properly.

Sidenote- you had asked about Retin A? This is mainly used for acne-prone skin but a lot of SCT users use it to help their lighteners penetrate further and to encourage peeling & collagen production. Please note that you should do extensive research on this and maybe even speak to your dermatologist before buying.

Lightening: this is where you would incorporate a product that contains active ingredients that inhibit melanin production. I honestly don't think you should use a lightener until your body is exfoliated as it is kind of like a waste of the lightener (it won't penetrate far enough to be effective when you have all that dead skin in the way). The best way is to incorporate a lightener after 4-6 weeks of solid exfoliation. HOWEVER, if you do choose to use a lightener, I would recommend:

•Nadinola Extra Strength (can be expensive to ship as there are no UK sellers of this)
•Caro Light or Skin Light

These are just HQ creams, there are many other lighteners available that do NOT use HQ. Again, you need to be careful when trying out lighteners. Everybody's skin tolerates things differently, so please pay attention to your skin if you choose to use HQ. There are plenty of products out there, and most have been used by SCT members so if you come across anything you haven't heard of, search it's name using the search function, or type in the name of the product + SCT into Google and something is bound to come up. Also, there are threads on all natural lightening which you should maybe have a peek at.

Sidenote- natural serums are great for lightening at any stage in your regimen, so invest in some l-ascorbic acid powder and/or some niacinamide, and make your own serums! These actives are water soluble and are super easy to make.

Moisturising: this is hugely important for healthy skin in general, but particularly for skin that is subject to exfoliation and lightening. This can all be very drying on the skin so you need to make sure you restore the skin's moisture. This can be done by incorporating things like Vitamin E oil, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Eucerin lotion, Cocoa Butter, and Shea Butter into your regimen.

Skin Building: this is important for people those who lighten and exfoliate because stripping away layers of the skin can be dangerous and cause skin thinning. You need to research all the ways you can get your collagen production up. Luckily AHAs encourage cell turnover, but to be on the safe side I use things like Emu Oil and St Ives Collagen Elastin Lotion. Some research has shown that creams containing collagen don't work because the collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin, but I like the St Ives lotion because it moisturises very well for me too.

Protection: this is the most CRUCIAL element of lightening! You could have the most solid effective regimen in the world but if you go out unprotected in the sun, all your progress will go down the toilet. SAP SAP SAP SAP!!!! Have you read this around the forum? It means Sun Avoidance & Protection. Whether its sunny or rainy (and you're from the UK so you know its mostly rainy lol) you have to use a physical sunblock to protect your skin from UVA and UVB damage. Chemical sunscreens are mostly ineffective, and you can read about that on several threads as well as on online articles. The ingredient to look out for is zinc oxide. There are plenty of zinc oxide sunblocks out there, like Devita and Badger.

Initial Regimen Example

OK so now you have an idea of how to lighten and what type of products to buy, I thought I'd share an example of a great way to start your skin care regimen:

Face - Morning
Wash with Likas (leave soap on for 5 mins before washing off)
Apply Vitamin C serum

Face - Evening
Wash with Likas
Apply Niacinamide serum
Apply LA or GA exfoliating lotion (low %) - 3 times a week
Moisturise if need be

Wash with Likas 6 times a week and Dead Sea Salt Soap once a week
Apply serum of choice
Apply LA or GA exfoliating lotion (can be higher %, up to 15%) - 3/4 times a week
Moisturise if need be

Obviously the above regimen is just to give you an idea... you can do less, you can do more (be careful), you can steadily increase your tolerance of different stuff, you can incorporate a lightener.... it's up to you. The thing is, we here at SCT can only talk about what has worked for us and discuss products and ingredients. We can't tell you what will work for you 100% because everyone is different. But I hope the above info has helped even a little bit just so you can understand why we use certain products in certain ways. One thing I will say is using the search funtion (or Google) is a great way to find out answers to any queries you have, and also to see genuine reviews on products rather than marketing

So be careful, listen to your skin, research EVERYTHING, and keep us posted on your progress

Oh and remember.. slow and steady wins the race

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 12 2013 at 7:10pm
The following is an informative post regarding retinoid use on the skin and its benefits towards anti-aging and skin lightening.

General Information:

First and foremost I would like to define what retinoids are. Retinoids are a class of Vitamin A derivates. Their main objective is to regulate and repair abnormal/damaged skin cells and replace them with new, healthy cells. Dermatologists have discovered there are well over 30 beneficial acts retinoids can produce on the skin (treating acne being the most widely recognized claim in the medical world).

Retinoids are a key preventive of skin aging, as well as powerful treatment for existing symptoms (wrinkles, spots, loss of collagen and pigmentation concerns). Unlike AHA/BHA’s, which only exfoliate the surface of the skin – retinoids exfoliate from within, starting from the deepest layer. Despite the age or skin concern, any individual can use a retinoid and obtain its benefits. They are the only medicines that have the ability to repair damaged DNA in the skin. The reason they are such a popular treatment for acne is due to their ability to preserve the youth of the DNA, regulating keratin production and enzymes thus clearing the pores.

Skin lightening is also an evident result of regular retinoid use. It should be noted that retinoids do not bleach the skin. They only repair sun damage (i.e. help the skin return to its original color after excessive sun exposure). Melasma patients as well as patients suffering from acne scars are usually prescribed a retinoid to help reduce the amount of excess melanin and to aid the skin in distributing the melanin evenly (obtain an even complexion).

Types of retinoids:

Retinoids are divided into 2 different classes: OTC (Over the Counter) and Rx (Prescription).

OTC Retinoids are products that contain retinol, retinaldehyde or retrinal. Retinol is not as strong as an Rx retinoid (i.e. Adapalene) however studies have shown that if it penetrates well enough into the skin (you must take the type of product into consideration, if it contains AHA or not, or contains silicones which hinder penetration) a certain amount of retinol will be converted by enzymes into tretinoin (retionic acid) the form that is useful to the skin). Retinol products are great for individuals who are new to retinoids as they are not as potent or irritating.

Retinaldeyhe is more effective than retinol because it is one step closer to being pure retionic acid. The skin's enzymes have to convert retinol into retinaldehyde to become retionic acid.

Prescription retinoids are products such as Retin-A, Tazorac, or Differin. There are many others but these are the 3 most popular. They come in a variety of strengths. Retin-A utilizes tretinoin, which is pure retinoic acid. It is very effective at treating acne, diminishing wrinkles and lightening of pigment, however it also produces the most irritation. Peeling and dryness are the most common side effects.

Tazorac utilizes a synthetic form, known as tazarotene. Studies have shown this particular synthetic to be very effective at treating pigmentation issues. Again, Tazorac also can be very irritating to the skin, however I will be explaining methods to reduce excessive irritation below in the 'usage' section.

Differin also uses a synthetic form known as adapalene. This is by far the gentlest form, causing the least amount of irritation. In fact, Differin has been shown to help treat Rosacea along with redness. I would recommend Differin to dark skinned individuals because of its ability to reduce post inflammatory hyper pigmentation (from irritation). The results take a couple of months longer to see than other Rx retinoids, but it more cosmetically elegant than the other two.

The irritation factor of Rx retinoids usually depends on the skin's tolerance level as well as the strength of the cream.
Use of retinoids

I would like to first address that retinoids should only be used during the evening. Studies have shown them to become toxic when exposed to UVA/UVB rays (I am referring to Rx retinoids here). You should also always wear sunscreen during the A.M. and never use Vitamin C along with a retinoid (as it degrades the effectiveness). Vitamin C serums should be used in the daytime underneath your sunscreen. Also during the first few weeks of retinoid use (usually only with Rx retinoids) you will be experiencing acne, or worsening of acne. This is normal, it is the retinoid pushing the excess dirt, oil and clearing the pores.

The best products containing retinol:
- SkinMedica Retinol Complex
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Intensive Serum
- RoC Retinol Correxion
- DDF Energizing Moisturizer

NOTE: Personally, I would recommend you select from products that contain retinaldehyde over retinol if you are going OTC. Before going to your doctor to obtain an Rx Retinoid, you should start with a retinaldehyde or retinol product. Retrinal is probably what I'd recommend for beginners as it comes in 3 strengths and isn't as irritating and potent as Diacneal (which has AHA in it as well). These are more effective than any of the above retinol products mentioned.

The best products containing retinaldehyde:
- Avene Ystheal Gel
- Avene Diacneal (excellent product, combines 6% AHA and 0.1% retinaldehyde. It penetrates deep within the skin due to the AHA as well as inhibits melanin well).
- Avene Eulage
- Avene Retrinal (very gentle, great for beginners. Comes in 3 strengths. Highly recommended.)

Prescription retinoids for darker skinned individuals:
- Retin-A Micro
- Differin Gel

Prescription retinoid for ˜tough™, resilient skin:
- Retin-A
- Tazorac Gel

Tip to reduce irritation: Despite Differin being the gentlest retinoid, a dark skinned individual can use Retin-A and Tazorac if they can reduce the amount of irritation. A great way is to buffer the retinoid. Apply a basic moisturizer (Cetaphil, Neutrogena oil-free moisture, aquaphor) over bare cleansed skin. Wait for about 1 hour and then apply a thin layer of your retinoid over the skin. This should reduce the amount of peeling (which is normal when using a retinoid; it is sheding off old skin), dryness and irritation.

If you are interested in a prescription retinoid, talk to your doctor about prescribing the lowest strength retinoid.

Check out these sites for more information. I also got most of my information from them:

Acne Scarring)
Topical retinoids (vitamin a creams). DermNet NZ
Retinoids in skin care. Advancing beyond tretinoin

You can definitley take Vitamin C orally while using Retin-A/Tretinoin and you can apply Vitamin C in your skin routine but just not at the same time as when you apply your retinoid.

Vitamin C works best in the A.M. as it boosts the effects of your sunscreen (UVA protection) as well as wards off free radicals which break down the skin, and boost antioxidant levels in the skin (which inhibits melanin to a degree).

To fade scars, your number one priority should be to avoid sun damage. A great non-oily sunscreen that is inexpensive is Hawaiian Tropics Oil Free Faces SPF 30. You can also check out on several sites on the net for european sunscreens which carry Mexoyryl (Vichy Ultra Fluid Fast Drying SPF 20 and SPF 60 are great, matte and offer excellent protection).

A vitamin C serum can help with your scarring as well. An excellent one is Skinceuticals AOX 20, you can get cheap samples off of ebay that cost 5 bucks and last for 3 weeks. SkinMedica Vitamin C complex is actually the best on the market (according to PubMed) but its very expensive, plus it has silicones so it might not be the best for acne-prone, sensitive skin.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 12 2013 at 10:05pm
How quickly we forget . A few days ago I was so excited because I was seeing signs that my permatan was lifting by noticing that my face was looking lighter. In that short time it became the new normal, and I am still looking for changes. I know I will not be seeing changes daily, yet I am always expecting it.

Since I am going to be increasing my Lactic Acid lotion in a few days, I decided to skip using Kojie Soap today and just use the lotion twice.
Can't wait to get my 'package' though

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 13 2013 at 2:51pm
So I've been thinking, 'Skin Care' like most other things eg: Diet, Exercise, a new Shampoo & Conditioner, initially you will get a WOW !!! After continuous use, that WOW fades . You need to have an alternate, or maybe skip a few days then come back to it. Our body's get acclimated to things, so we need to 'shake things up'.
For instance, after using my Kojic Aid Soap and Amlactin for just a few days, my Salt Bath water was gunky. After a week of using those same things, my Salt Bath water was, at most..cloudy. The surface dead skin came off easily. The skin just below that may need some time to loosen up, and I may need to give it a few days ?? I don't know for sure. I may have read that skin cells regenerate every 28 days. So I will lay off the Kojic soap on my body for a day or two. However for my face, I still have on hand Vitamin-C Cleanser, and Glycolic Cleanser form Serious Skin Care, that I can use instead of Kojie just to shake things up a little. These 'alternate facial cleansers', I will lather up, and let stand for a few minutes before rinsing.
The 'shake up' for the body will be slowly increasing the %age of Lactic Acid in my Lotion every few weeks to tolerance, then I will go from there. It's all trail and error for me. I just have to see what works. I am not a PJ, and I am not trying to split an Atom . I am also FRUGAL. This is not going to bankrupt me .

Just thinking aloud

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 13 2013 at 3:50pm
Like I mentioned a page or two ago I will be on a search for DIY Sun Protection..Found this

Authored by Iamme from SCT

Recipe for 35% ZnO Sunscreen - (I like this one better)

•60 grams of Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion
•7.5 grams of Grapeseed oil
•36 grams of coated zinc oxide (micronized bordering on nano)
•.3 grams of polysorbate 80 (it was 9 small drops for me)

Recipe for 25% ZnO Sunscreen

•60 grams of Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion
•7.5 grams of Grapeseed oil
•22.5 grams of coated zinc oxide (micronized bordering on nano)
•.3 grams of polysorbate 80 (it was 9 small drops for me)

1.With a milk frother, mix the Aveeno and oil.
2.Add the ZnO and stir by hand just enough to get the powder incorporated.
3.Add the Polysorbate 80 and then mix with the frother for a couple minutes, scraping the sides.
4.It's quite thick, so I have to use a tamping motion with my mixer.

Here are the attributes of this sunscreen:

•easy and fast to make - anyone can make this one!
•high ZnO content
•very reasonabe price for a high % zinc oxide sunscreen
•the 35% formula leaves a very slight lighter cast. Just enough so I don't need foundation!
•the 25% formula goes on invisible
•soaks in immediately
•not greasy
•not sticky
•leaves skin feeling moisturized all day
•leaves a matte finish
•allows makeup to glide over it nicely
•zero scent
•can be reapplied a bunch of times with no balling or other negative effects

Unfortunately, it is not water resistant and will not hold up to sweating.

Note - Mix 1/2 or 1/3 of a batch the first time, to see if you like it so you don't waste ingredients.


Unfortunately, when SCT changed the site format, everyone's great comments were lost. Since this original recipe was posted, I have changed it so the feel is not so dry. The new version sinks in and is matte, but not too dry.

New Recipe for 25% ZnO Sunscreen

27 grams of Cerave Moisturizing Lotion

6.5 grams of oil (I used a combo of Apricot, Grapeseed, jojoba)

12 grams of coated zinc oxide (micronized bordering on nano)

3-4 drops of polysorbate 80

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 13 2013 at 4:49pm
mistaken post...Sowwwyeee

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 14 2013 at 5:38pm
I guess I am not the best judge of my progress, or lack of it . I say this because I was CARDED today. I thought this lady was kidding, but her mouth fell open when I presented my ID. She said "I guess black really don't crack". Even at 21 y/o I looked older. Bless her heart, she made my day . That permatan, and uneven skin tone really ages a person.

Mail-person has not yet delivered my package . I cannot be too upset, Veterans Day threw everything off. Tomorrow after all, is, another day.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 14 2013 at 6:12pm
My apologies to the USPS . I spoke too soon. They just delivered my LA and pH strips . The first thing I did was test the pH of my Amlactin, and it is 5.5 . This is good as a lotion and peeling over a long period of time. So I am going to mix up the magic, and get this puppy down to a peeling pH of > 3.5

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 14 2013 at 8:05pm
So I MUST try to remember the the lower pH (<4) has nothing to do with the %age of the Lotion. DUH !!!(it does, but not in this instance)   After getting out my trusty scale and calculator, mixed everything up, the pH was 4.5 . So, I added a few more milliliters of LA, It came to between 4.0 and 4.5. I totally forgot I was trying to get a 15% LA lotion..DUH again. Fortunately I was able the remember that 15% lotion WILL have a slightly higher pH. But all was not lost. My lotion turned out to be 16-17% LA, which is still tolerable. I even put some on my face ....No problem, but I was fully prepared to rinse it off if it burned.

My Neck and decollete' are still my problem areas. I cannot leave anything there for too long. I guess the Kojie soap will have to do for now. I am also thinking that I may try putting lotion there approx an hour before showering

Now, I have 40 Ozs LA (the price was right ), plus S&H is so ridiculous. Sometime next week I will try a 'peel' on my Elbows, maybe 45%.

I am just so excited

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 15 2013 at 2:48pm
I have tolerated the slight increase in LA lotion very well, even on my face . I will start back using the Kojie soap today, it seem to be what is really helping the LA lotion. There are lighter 'blotchiness' showing up within the sun damaged areas. Not so obvious that it looks weird, but enough to let me know what I am doing is working. The less sun damaged areas are lightening back to my original shade. That pleases me .

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 15 2013 at 8:54pm
I am tolerating the higher %age of LA lotion quite well, even on my face, neck and decollete' . So glad to be using Kojie soap again.
It is that time again , I am already starting to have a little anxiety about spending time in the dreaded TUB

Need to get more serious about using Sun Screen, especially when at home. I love waking up and just opening the Curtains to let the Sunshine in. The last thing on my mind is applying Sun Screen first. . Yet, it is said that sun rays (through windows) are damaging, especially when exfoliating or lightening the skin

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 16 2013 at 1:06pm
So, after using Kojie San soap, and LA lotion last night, I noticed a lot of 'bumps' and red splotches on my chest. It did not itch so I just applied some Hydrocortisone Cream. This morning it was healed over, no problems.
My neck and chest are very sensitive areas since I developed a sensitivity to metals a few yrs ago. If it's not Gold, my skin will respond quickly and furiously .
Since applying the Hydrocortisone Cream works well, I am encouraged to do things as I have been doing, and use the Cream as needed.
I am keeping some old Sun Screen at bedside to use upon awakening, so all my efforts are not hindered.

Happy Saturday !!!    

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 16 2013 at 9:38pm
Science finds new fix for UV-damaged skin in arthritis treatment

    Researchers found that the topical application of a N-acetyl glucosamine (4 percent) and niacinamide (2 percent) complex produced visible improvement in pigmentation after 8 weeks.

    Cincinnati, OH – For many women, accumulated sun exposure has already permanently damaged their skin cells, causing them to overproduce pigment that shows up as unsightly dark splotches and uneven skin tone over time. But new research indicates that glucosamine - a compound best known for treating arthritis – can actually help stop the formation of new age spots, and help fade existing ones.

"These findings on glucosamine may impact the way dermatologists treat UV-related skin damage in the future. Right now we have prescription and surgical options, which some people aren't willing to try," says Alexa Kimball, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology, Harvard Medical School and lead researcher on one of the studies testing glucosamine. "It's exciting to see this level of research being done on topical cosmetic applications of glucosamine, and the promising results."

N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide block melanin production by interfering in the process at two different points - reducing formation and appearance of age spots. A key enzyme in melanin biosynthesis...

     An International Consensus on Glucosamine Skin Benefits

In early 2006, a group of leading dermatologists from around the world and Procter & Gamble Beauty scientists convened in Rome to review and discuss the glucosamine data. The panel determined that n-acetyl glucosamine, a more stable form of glucosamine, reduced the amount of melanin in skin cells, meaning there was less excess pigment in the skin to cause age spots. Additionally, the panel concluded that a formulation of n-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide, a vitamin B derivative, significantly reduced the amount and appearance of hyperpigmentation, age spots and uneven melanin distribution. Researchers paired n-acetyl glucosamine with niacinamide because they knew that niacinamide had similar effects on slowing down pigment production and hypothesized that the two might work better together.

The panel reviewed data from three studies involving the n-acetyl glucosamine /niacinamide formulation. Tissue studies showed a reduction in melanin and an increase in collagen – a key structural protein in skin. Three double-blinded placebo- controlled clinical studies involving more than 200 subjects, including a study supervised by Dr. Kimball, showed improvement in hyperpigmentation and skin tone and a decrease in the size of age spots. The research is set to be presented in July at the "Academy '06" meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), and was first presented at the AAD annual meeting in March 2006.

A series of events occur within pigment cells to trigger the production of melanin. The process can be activated by both external influences, such as UV radiation or irritants,...

     Skin Biology Gives Researchers Clues for Developing New Treatments
The interest in glucosamine as a possible treatment comes in part from what scientists already know happens on a cellular level when skin is exposed to UV radiation. Chronic UV exposure can damage melanocytes, cells in the skin responsible for producing melanin, in a variety of different ways. Often, this damage can lead to a loss of cellular control, and the production of chemicals that allow the cells to keep producing more and more melanin – which eventually leads to age spots and uneven discoloration. Additionally, as skin ages, cell turnover slows down and melanin "dust" – microscopic particles of melanin – can become trapped in the upper layers of skin, resulting in a duller appearance.

Researchers are familiar with these processes and that has helped them focus on substances - such as n-acetyl glucosamine - that are known to interrupt the UV-triggered chemical signals that turn on melanin production. Skin care products that utilize signal-blocking ingredients currently exist in the marketplace, but products with n-acetyl glucosamine/niacinamide - which block melanin at two different points in the pigment producing process - are among the newest and most studied.

"Pigmentation is an appearance issue that strikes an emotional chord for women, and even though we're constantly telling our patients about the importance of UV-protection, once the damage is done, we need to be able to provide them with ways to help," says Dr. Kimball. "The level of research and validation on topical cosmetic application of glucosamine will help it stand apart from other ingredients when it comes to improving tone and treating hyperpigmentation."

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 16 2013 at 9:51pm
Benefits of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Posted on November 16, 2009 by Mileena

"Studies have proven in the recent years that niacinamide is a powerful ingredient that yields many skin care benefits.

Commonly known as Vitamin B3, Niacinamide at 2% has been shown to reduce water loss in the skin and retain fatty acid levels (younger, plumper, firmer skin). It has also been proven at high concentrations (between 3-4%) to be a very effective acne reducer. Clinical research has shown niacinamide (Vit B3) to be just as effective as the topical antibiotic Clindamycin at treating acne. Obviously Niacinamide doesn’t run the risk of resistance, since it is not an antibiotic.

Niacinamide is also an excellent skin lightening agent that works by disrupting the transfer of melanosome from the melanocyte to the keratinocyte. I blogged about this months ago, but there was a study done by Procter & Gamble that proved that the combination of niacinamide and glucosamine (N-Acetyl Glucosamine) demonstrated significant skin lightening in patients. This revelation was pretty big, and was presented at the 2006 American Academy of Dermatology. Here is an interesting link showing before & after pictures of patients as well as details regarding the research:

In general, most individuals saw results after 12 weeks of daily usage (and saw a reduction of 35-68% of pigmentation). Like with most other skin lightening compounds, niacinamide has an inhibitory effect and in order to get the most out of it, you must be wearing sunscreen everyday and exfoliate often to ensure a complete melanin inhibiting process.

I am really fascinated by niacinamide, I have heard a lot about it through many mediums. I knew about the skin lightening benefits, but I always hesistated to try it out because very few products out there contain niacinamide in half-decent concentrations. The only ones I can think of are:

Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum

Olay Definity Line
La Roche Posay Rosaliac Anti-Redness
Fair & Lovely Fairness Cream
Fairever Cream
SK II Whitening Source (Japanese whitening line)

There are probably more (and most of those, aside from the SK II Whitening Source, contain below than 2 or 3% niacinamide), but honestly I am more interested in crafted my own niacinamide lightener. Either as a mask, toner or serum I don’t know yet but I’m definitley interested in making one. You all know how much I love doing these do-it-yourself skin lightening recipes. I know I can purchase the active ingredient at

I just need to do a bit more research but I’m seriously thinking of making one. I am convinced Niacinamide (possibly mix it with N-Acetyl Glucosamine) may end with some awesome results. Look out for a blog post on this in the new couple of days when I get more information."

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 17 2013 at 5:22pm
I had my Bath. It is getting easier, but I don't think I will ever get used to it or look forward to it. It may be all about the time I spend just laying in a Tub. I will look into purchasing Sea Salt Soap. Today and tomorrow will be free of LA lotion and Kojic soap. The Shea/Cocoa Butter and Oils feel great.

The lighter areas on my face are becoming larger and blending in to each other .

Patience truly is a Virtue

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 18 2013 at 12:24pm
My permatan continues to 'lift'. I am still shocked to see how deep it got, but it was gradual except for the past 5 yrs. My skin is just drinking up these oils. The exfoliating process really can be drying, so a 2-day break every week is so necessary to rehydrate.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 18 2013 at 7:00pm
So I got a little antsy this afternoon, and did something I had not planned on doing . There maybe some good or bad coming from this, but it is too soon to give an accurate account of anything at this point. By tomorrow morning it will be at least 15 hrs, and I will post an accurate result. But, so far so good in certain areas . We shall see

Hoping for the best.
My plan is to give a day by day result of what I am actually doing, and what comes of it....Pass or fail

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 19 2013 at 12:57pm
So after my shower yesterday, I realized I had not used my KS or LA lotion for more than 24 hrs, so I decided to try a peel on my legs just to give it a test run
The %age I used yield 2 ounces which was way too much for my legs. I then did my arms, and there was too much left for my frugal side to just toss out....I ended up doing my entire body , including lips, and ears. Obviously my neck was not happy about this but I tolerated the minimum 3 mins on my neck. Rinsing thoroughly with water, then Baking Soda solution.
I always wondered how a full body peel can be accomplished, but it was so easy.
My neck was warm, red and puffy. However, it did not burn. I waited 6 hrs to apply Hydrocortisone Crm to my neck. Oiled my body well.
This morning my neck is a dark red color, and a little tender. My face will get a nice peel. I see crepey surface skin. Everywhere else has a dry feel, so I will keep it very moisturized. Anxious to how much my lips will peel.
All in all, it went well. Next time I will do everything the same, doing the neck last again, but I will dilute the solution slightly before doing my neck.
I seem to set up time restraints of when I will do certain things, then I exercise my right as a female to change my mind and do things on impulse
I can go back to using KS soap and LA lotion 24 hrs after doing this peel, but since this is my first time, I will give it 48 hrs.

I am so excited to see the results

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 19 2013 at 8:02pm
It's been 24 hrs since my impulsive peel I am not sure what will become of my Arms, Legs and Torso. Was this %age of peel not strong enough, will it peel given more time IDK
My bottom lips..I am doing everything to keep my hands away from them. It looks good and ready for me to get my fingers in there and start ripping away . Instead I am just going to keep applying Vaseline and wait it out.
My neck looks like it has been dragged on concrete, A B R A S I V E !!!
I am not alarmed because this is the way my Face looked when I was getting Glycolic Peels from that BH Derm. I will just keep applying Oils because I know that will be a good peel . I will have to wear white cotton gloves, because my impulse will always to manually peel the skin off
My Face will peel or maybe flake IDK. Time will tell. It is not as telling as my neck
I am happy with the results so far. Next time I may have to do a couple layers on my Arms and Legs(they're tough). I will have to give this one a few days to marinate.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 20 2013 at 3:44pm
Woke up this morning with tight dry neck skin. I just keep it moisturized with Triple ABx ointment, and Oil (EVOO, Grapeseed, Jojoba and Vit E). Staying indoors because it looks like I discovered a couple 'Shades of Grey', and waited too long to use the 'safe' word. Maybe I'll get a 'Naughty Girl' street cred .
Anyway, the rest of the body, face included is status quo. Today I will just use LA lotion, staying away from my neck . No KS soap until I can better assess. Surprisingly, I am peeling behind my Ears

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 20 2013 at 4:11pm
Ooopsie, forgot to mention, after applying Oils to my neck, I did a Neck SSB. Instead of getting in the Tub, I dissolved Epsom Salts in a container of very warm water, and did towel soaks on the neck for about 15 mins.   

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 20 2013 at 5:02pm
By the way, I will definitely do my Lips again. They peeled nicely last night . Vaseline really helped.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 21 2013 at 5:26pm
I had a rough night last night. My neck was tingling, which made me want to scratch . OMG !!!. I had to wake up and put on gloves, but then I just rubbed the area, which was still not a good idea.
Anyway, this morning a lot of the top layer was gone , showing a whole lot of 'pink'.   Continuing with Oil mix, and ABx ointment.
My face is flaking which I only notice on the pad when I apply my Toner.

So I had the bright idea to add more Lactic Acid to my existing lotion (1 ml). Since most of my body tolerated the LA peel so well, I figured, why not ??
I tolerated that very well, however I don't know what %age my LA lotion is now.
I noticed the shade between my outer and inner Arms has become a lot closer. Lactic Acid is working in a very subtle way....Well except for my neck
Already looking forward to my next LA peel on Monday

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 22 2013 at 12:52am

Sometimes the simplest things evade me. I am so anti-baths, and I did not have to put myself through that if it only occurred to me I could use the Portable Sauna I already own . It requires salt to produce steam, Epsom Salt could have been substituted .
Looks like I will be having Saunas twice a week, instead of SSB's weekly

I love when a plan comes together

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 22 2013 at 2:38pm
Skipping KS soap today. Opting for a double layer of LA lotion instead.
Will try out the Sauna tomorrow when I get more Epsom Salts. My neck is coming along nicely except for the itching during sleep. There is something about sleep that brings about the itching

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 24 2013 at 6:38pm
Recently I have been having the such difficulty logging on to, and navigating this site.

Anyway, I am seeing great progress in removing this permatan. My skin scars very easily, so I will complete at least 3 weeks of total body LA peels, then spend a few weeks concentrating on the blemished areas, elbows, knees and feet, followed by 3 more total body peels. Hopefully by then everything will be well blended
Today's Sauna with Epsom Salts left me with a glorious glow .
Tomorrow I will be doing my 2nd body peel. I will like to get that out of the way just in case I feel crappy after getting my Flu Shot later this week .
The break out on my neck has darkened. This in not unusual for me since developing allergies to a whole host of things. But it will lighten back to normal over time.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 25 2013 at 5:05pm
Note to self....Use one (1) product at a time

Knucklehead..So as I have said, I have numerous allergies. I need to add one more to the list. TRIPLE ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT !!!
For more than 1 day last week I could not find my ointment (my Guardian Angel hide it from me ), so all I had was my Hydrocortisone Cream. The itching decreased, my neck was dry and looked to be healing very well. Then I found the ointment and applied it before going to sleep. I had to get up and wash it off because it itched so much. Next morning my neck was red and puffy. I hindered my progress all last week by alternating between the Cream and ointment Problem solved, and life goes on.
Body peel went well, did not tolerate it too long on my face, 2 mins. I know as soon as I feel a little burning, wash it off. It is not improtant to keep it on for any set time and risk PIH.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 26 2013 at 5:28pm
Spent a few hours outdoors today. I really could not help looking at myself in the rear view mirror. My complexion is so much lighter. I've been looking at that perma-tanned face for so long, it surprises me to see something different in the mirror. The change is not drastic, but the very dark, overly damaged outer layers are gone from my face. I know there are still a few damaged layers left, but what I am seeing lets me know I am on the right track.   Blending everything will be chore, but I am up to it.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 27 2013 at 1:11am
OMG !!!

So it's been 3 full days without using Triple ABx, and my neck is peeling , not flaking, but actually peeling. I can't believe this. It's hard to keep my hands off it. My first genuine peel.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 27 2013 at 4:41pm
So it's been approx 5 days since I have used my KS soap and LA lotion. Today seem like a great day to start again . The only thing I don't like about doing the LA peel, iS that I have to stop other things for 24-48 hours before and after .
My lips are always the first to peel. It starts with that very thin membrane on the inside. Love, Vaseline .
I will be seeing a Dermatologist next week to get a script in the event I have any more flare-ups on the Neck. That however has been coming along great. The peeling last night was fantastic. Today it seem almost completely healed, except for the darkened areas. I am confident that it will soon be gone. Hydrocortisone Cream and Vit-C lotion (or any emollient lotion) works great.
I see signs of that permatan removal every day....Slow and gradual works for me .


Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 27 2013 at 8:33pm
So I now have KS soap on for 15 minutes, including my neck and face. so far everything seem well. I just love the feeling of this soap on my skin, and all that it does for me. Just waiting to rinse and apply LA lotion.
Kojic soap and LA lotion works so well along with the LA peels, I am seeing the breakup of the darkness of the permatan compared to my torso. I am truly grateful that there is HOPE.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 29 2013 at 11:44am
I will say it again...Navigating this site lately is worst than Friday evening traffic on an L.A Freeway .
This is very discouraging, because it is so time consuming.

Anyhow, Yesterday I used KS on my face only. LA lotion on the body. Today I will do both.
My neck is a big surprise every day. It is healing and peeling. What I thought would be a month or two of getting rid of discoloration seem to be coming off daily. Why did I not know about sensitivity to Triple Antibiotic before..

So the lifting of the permatan was coming off in patches at the beginning, but those patches of lightened areas are widening and bringing it all together. I will have to start working on the stubborn elbows and old scars pretty soon. They are not keeping up with the rest of my body.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 29 2013 at 12:23pm
So it's taken me almost 30 minutes to get back to this page...Seriously !!

Anyway, today marks 1 month since I started this journey. I am still using my original Amlactin lotion with added LA, Nadinola crm, and KS soap. I had not expected to have any of these things last more than a month. Proves to me that lifting a permatan is not expensive, unless you are a PJ and want to try any and everything you hear about. Start with a simple regimen and stick with it. Do not expect overnight miracles

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 29 2013 at 8:10pm
Tonight I decided to sleep with KS soap and LA lotion on since I keep the weekends free of exfoliation in preparation for Peel on Monday. It has been 2 hours so far, not negative reaction . My neck no longer itches, and has healed well except for hyperpigmentation.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Nov 30 2013 at 11:04pm
During these days off LA lotion and KS Soap, I use my Oils. My skin just drinks this up . KS and LA separates and lifts the damaged skin but is also drying. The Oils is supposed to rebuild my skin , so I added more Vit E and Jojoba Oils to my mix. I am still researching the most beneficial mix, but this will do until then.

Tomorrow...Epsom Salts Sauna

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 02 2013 at 11:32pm
My permatan removal is coming along. I notice a few stubborn areas on my upper arm that is hanging on, but getting smaller. However, most of my body is 'lifting' it's second layer. Hopefully they will all catch up . As long as the permatan is being removed, I am okay with that.

Third body peel completed !!!!

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 03 2013 at 10:24pm
This is very exhausting. It takes 5-10 minutes to make 1 post on BHM. I have to run my cleaner when I sign off this site. What's going on

Anyway, My elbows are looking so much better. The roughness and darkness is sooooo lifting.   I am now using a lighter shade of powder on my face. It can only get better from here if I keep doing what I'm doing. Going to try to a Sauna tomorrow

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 03 2013 at 11:37pm
Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe
Katie - Wellness Mama

Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients or endocrine disrupting chemicals that in many cases may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical production in the body. In fact, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen, and a 2007 document from the FDA stated that: “The FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer” In fact, many reports show that most sunscreens actually raise skin cancer risk.

Even natural, commercially available sunscreens often have toxic ingredients! Check out your brand here!

Considering many people these days are actually Vitamin D deficient, I consider lack of sun exposure to be a much bigger problem than too much exposure. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many types of cancers including the most deadly types of breast cancer. Lack of Vitamin D has also been linked to problems during pregnancy including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature labor, and more.

As a society, we’ve literally cut off our nose to spite our face when it comes to sun exposure. To avoid skin cancer, which is not a particularly deadly cancer, especially if caught early, we’ve shunned the sun and the Vitamin D our bodies produce with sun exposure.

On top of that, sun exposure itself is not conclusively linked to skin cancer, and many other factors, such as Omega-6 Vegetable Oil consumption can have a big impact on skin health!

In most cases, my approach to sun exposure is to get adequate daily exposure, without getting close to the point of burning. Since most of us don’t work outside these days, it actually takes effort to get daily sun, rather than to avoid it.

In the event that I’m going to be out in the sun for much longer than my skin is used to, it is often easy enough to just put on a hat or shirt to shield my skin.

If none of these options are available, for instance, on a day at the beach in early summer before I’ve been in the sun much, I will very occasionally use natural sunscreen. I’m yet to use it this year, and hope not to at all, but I wanted to share my recipe so that if you are in the sun for extended periods of time this summer, you have a natural option.

This would also be a more natural alternative for really young children, those taking medication that increases sun burn risk, or those who burn very easily.

Just to clarify, even though this natural sunscreen smells great and is naturally moisturizing, I don’t recommend using it daily since the Vitamin D you get from the sun will be more beneficial in the long run!

NOTE: This is an improved recipe since many people were having trouble getting the temperatures exactly right to get the lotion to emulsify (as per the comments below). This recipe will not have any of those issues!

Natural Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:
■1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
■1/4 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
■1/4 cup beeswax
■2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder). This makes a natural SPF of 20+ or more can be added.)
■Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
■Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
■Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference
Note: All ingredients and many essential oils are available here.

How to Make Natural Sunscreen:
1.Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives, or other foods.
2.Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
3.Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
4.As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
5.Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
6.Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.
Additional Notes:
■This sunscreen is somewhat, but not completely, waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
■Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask if necessary!
■This recipe has an SPF of about 20, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF
■Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen
■I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance
■Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
■I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.
■remove the Zinc Oxide and this makes an excellent lotion recipe!
An Even Faster Way To Make Sunscreen:
■Get a bottle of your favorite lotion (that doesn’t contain citrus oils!)
■Add a couple Tablespoons of Zinc Oxide
■Mix well
■Use as Sunscreen

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 04 2013 at 10:03pm
I am wondering if I should change the way I use KS and LA lotion. Instead of using both daily, I am considering alternating them, so I don't have 2 acids daily, and have to skip days around my LA peels .
Now that I am 6 weeks into exfoliating, my skin is not as tough anymore, and I lose too many days without exfoliation, it just does not have to be as strong every day. One form of exfoliation will be milder for my skin, but more consistent. Just a thought

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 05 2013 at 4:00pm
R.I.P.   Nelson Mandela

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 05 2013 at 5:17pm

The following info was copied and pasted

HQ, retinoids, chemical peels, are all useful, as well as Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C AHA), Azelaic acid, Topical Corticosteroid Creams, and Microdermabrasion.

Sunblock is a must!!!

In addition, the following ingredients reduce the incidence of PIH

1. The Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Salicylic Acid is a chemical exfoliating agent often used to fight acne. Salicylic Acid is oil-based and does not work on the surface like Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), but rather penetrates oil-clogged pores and breaks down the dead skin cells found there so they can slough off. By reducing inflammation, BHA creams also reduce the occurrence of PIH.

2. N-Acetyl Glucosamine* inhibits the production of melanin in skin cells thereby preventing the formation of PIH.

3. Niacinamide* (Vitamin B) inhibits the movement of melanin up to the visible skin layers. Excess melanasomes (cells which transport melanin to the surface) are trapped where the dark pigment won’t show. Eventually the cells die and the debris is absorbed by the body.

* N-Acetyl Glucosamine and Niacinamide have been shown to be more effective in combination than either one alone. Scientists theorize this is because the combined formula attacks hyperpigmentation at two different points: melanin production; and melanin transportation.

The results of three rigorous clinical trials of N-Acetyl Glucosamine combined with Niacinamide were presented at the 2006 mid-year meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. The complex produced visible improvement in pigmentation after eight weeks.

Before and after photos (courtesy of P&G Beauty) were taken under polarized lighting conditions, optimized to produce an evenly lit color image.

[The studies also showed increased collagen production. This would be of interest to anyone with the type of hyperpigmentation referred to as age spots, which is commonly accompanied by thinning skin and wrinkles.]

4. Azelaic Acid (available in prescription Finacea) is believed to be toxic to melanocytes (the cells which produce melanin) and to prevent their proliferation.

5. Your doctor may prescribe steroidal glucocorticoids to stop the inflammation which triggers PIH.

The following Ingredients Speed up the Fading Process of PIH:

- Hydroquinone is the most effective skin lightener and has the longest track record. It is available OTC in 1 to 2% concentration. Adverse reactions are rare at these lower concentrations. Hydroquinone is not stable and needs to be kept away from light and air. If it turns brown you know it is no longer effective.

- Kojic Acid

- Licorice Extract

- Arbutin

Other ingredients work by exfoliation. By speeding cell turnover, exfoliants hasten the ascent of excess PIH melanin to the surface where it will slough off.

Don't expect overnight results. Melanin is formed at the basal layer of the epidermis and takes about a month to rise to the surface.

So while you're exfoliating the visible layer of skin, new melanin may already be on its way to the surface (unless you are taking steps to stop melanin production and/or transport).

[Extracted from: Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation]

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 05 2013 at 11:36pm
I seriously just lost a post.... Are you kidding me !!!

Screw it. I am not doing it over now.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 06 2013 at 1:28pm
So I had a bit of a meltdown last night when my post disappeared. I don't like wasting time.

Anyway. I think I made a proper decision to alternate my use of KS soap. and LA lotion. As exfoliation progresses, the less aggressive I must be with the Acids, but it is working out quite well.
I did KS soap for 45 mins on the body, but the last 5 mins I applied it to my face and neck. I have not been putting LA lotion on my neck, just hydrocortisone cream and Oils. The PIH is lightening with a little residual itching.
Elbows are blending in perfectly with my arms .
I have been applying LA lotion to the soles of my feet, and last night after I used the Ped-Egg and removed so much dead skin it was scary. My feet feels so soft and smooth this morning.
Continuing to apply Oils this morning, and LA lotion planned for after shower.
I have had to figure out what to do depending on the needs of my skin at any given time. Exfoliating safely.


Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 07 2013 at 2:24pm
Today is supposed to be KS soap day, but it's 59 degrees and raining. I am not used to this weather, and will have to remain unclothe for about 45 mins . I will do it though, but keep putting it off. This regimen is working great for me. It is mostly effortless, and progressive.
It is hard to keep any treatments on my hands because I am always having to have my hands in water. Last night I layered 2 LA lotions and slept with non-latex and cotton gloves. Maybe tonight, KS soap and gloves

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 08 2013 at 12:13am
I shed a layer of skin while showering today. Freaked me out!!! I don't know where the heck it came from. I did not notice any area of my body peeling prior to showering. I had KS soap on for about 50 mins, no burning or discomfort. There was just skin in the drain filter. At first I thought it was hair until I cleaned the filter, and realized it wasn't. I never expected to see anything like this. Microexfoliation was what I expected. Anyway, I oiled my body very well, expecting to touch a raw area, but NADA !!!!
My skin is looking great though, especially my elbows.


Posted By: Janeru-W
Date Posted: Dec 08 2013 at 3:52pm
That skin peeling part freaked me out too Confused!! If I was to see that I'd be so scared lol but glad everything's looking great!

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 08 2013 at 9:51pm
Originally posted by Janeru-W Janeru-W wrote:

That skin peeling part freaked me out too Confused!! If I was to see that I'd be so scared lol but glad everything's looking great!

Hi Janeru-W; I had dreams about it last night .   On the Hair section of this site I have posted about Hair loss, so I have a fine strainer over my drain, and have been saving my hair week to week. This morining I looked at that stuff again, and it crumbled in my hands .
Thankfully it is okay. I didn't see where it came from, maybe it is a combination of placeson my body, but I certainly was not expecting it.

Thank You for responding

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 08 2013 at 10:04pm
Originally posted by scarpenter scarpenter wrote:

<span style=": rgb251, 251, 253;">Hello,</span><div style=": rgb251, 251, 253;">
<div style=": rgb251, 251, 253;">I was wondering if it would be possible to interview someone for a paper I am writing for an English course on this forum. I am a student at Georgia State University and I would greatly appreciate your help. If you are interested please send me a private message.<div style=": rgb251, 251, 253;">
<div style=": rgb251, 251, 253;">Thank you in advance.

Hello scarpenter; I will be happy to help in any way I can, however, this is all new for me. Will pm you tomorrow.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 08 2013 at 10:12pm
This was a day for using my Oils. I just LOVE how my skin accepts, and drinks it up. My skin is blending so well. The more the permatan lifts, the more there is to lift. Comparing photos of myself to 10 yrs ago, the difference in my complexion is obvious, but getting better compared to 1 mth ago.
Tomorrow is LA peel day.....

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 09 2013 at 7:48pm
I put off doing the body peel today for as long as possible. Temps in the 60's does not work well for me. Considering I have to take 2 showers, and be unclothed for at least 15 minutes . But I did it, starting with my feet,legs, arms, torso and lips.
Have not been doing peels on my face, it is becoming too light, probably because of the Nadinola. There are still some discolored areas there, very little, but I notice them .
Things are working out well with my current routine. Loving the Oils on my body, and they are doing double duty because I am also using it on my hair


Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 09 2013 at 7:57pm
I guess scarpenter was a troll. Luckily I did not respond to her/him right away.

Thank You BHM Monitors

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 11 2013 at 12:58pm
Yesterday was spent moisturizing .   When I did my 2nd body peel I also did my lips for the first time, and my bottom lip peeled by the next morning. This week my top lip has started to peel. Bottom lip is starting to look pink . I can start back on my KS soap, and LA lotion today, but with the cooler temps it is very discouraging. Definitely not conducive to being unclothe for any length of time .
Guess I will have to pull up my big girl knickers and just do it.


Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 11 2013 at 8:40pm
I did it !!! Yes, I did KS and LA lotion today. To fill in the time the KS was on, I D/C'd my hair , I kept warm and filled my time with something productive. My neck tolerated both KS and LA lotion also.
I LOVE it when things come together.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 12 2013 at 11:41pm
This journey is going well, but exfoliation will come to an end at the end of this month . I have started researching products to even out my complexion. I am satisfied with the way it all worked out. When I place my arms over my chest, it no longer looks like night and day, it's more like sunrise and daylight. My face is relieved of most if the permatan. Overall, I am not one tone, there are still some blotchy areas, even though there are small I still see them !!!
Today was just LA lotion. Tomorrow KS soap and LA lotion.


Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 13 2013 at 7:05pm
Great day for doing KS today....Temps in the 70's . My biggest complaints have always been "It's too cold to remain unclothe".

My face which in my opinion was the deepest permatanned part of my body, was the first to recover and come closest back to natural. I think the Nadinola really helped once I exfoliated the tougher outer layers of skin. I was not as diligent with applying Nadinola to my elbows and knees, but am now encouraged.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 14 2013 at 1:46am
5 Little Known-Facts Every Hydroquinone User Needs to Know – Immediately!

1.) Hydroquinone should be used in four-month cycles, alternating with kojic acid, azelaic acid, arbutin, and other lightening agents. (Especially if you have darker skin).

Hydroquinone works by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, which is important in skin melanin (pigment) development. So for as long as you continue to use hydroquinone, you will inhibit tyrosinase, and hence pigment production.

Unfortunately, when you discontinue use of hydroquinone, your skin’s natural supply of tyrosinase will no longer be inhibited. Slowly but surely, your skin’s natural pigmentation will return.

If you’re thinking that you should never stop using hydroquinone, think again: In darker skinned patients, continued hydroquinone use has been associated with ochronosis, a darkening of the skin. It has been proposed this occurs because hydroquinone inhibits homogentisic acid oxidase within the skin, which in turn causes the dark-colored homogentisic acid to build-up within the skin with continued use. Interestingly enough, this phenomenon has only been documented in darker-skinned patients.

Still, to be on the safe side, most dermatologists recommend using hydroquinone in four-month cycles, alternated in the off months with other milder tyrosinase inhibitors, such as azelaic acid, kojic acid, and great when alternated for four months with hydroquinone, as mentioned above.

2.) Do NOT use any other products containing benzoyl peroxide while you are using products containing hydroquinone.

Use of hydroquinone with any products containing benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other peroxides may cause temporary staining of the skin ( This staining is temporary and can typically be removed with soap and water washing, but it’s best to avoid benzoyl peroxide-based acne treatments and oxygen-infusing skin care treatments, which typically contain hydrogen peroxide.

3.) Do NOT use any products containing resorcinol while you are using products containing hydroquinone.

Remember that skin darkening I was talking about earlier (ochronosis)? Unfortunately, ochronosis occurrence in persons with darker skins is a well-documented occurrence with combined use of resorcinol and hydroquinone. Hundreds of ochronosis cases have been documented from using resorcinol/hydroquinone combination treatments in South Africa before 1984 (Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 1997).

So I definitely would not recommend using hydroquinone with any of the new resorcinol skin lightening treatments, including Clarins Vital Light Serum and philosophy� Miracle Worker� Dark Spot Corrector�(shown above).�While I love these products on their own, I would not recommend combining them with any treatments containing hydroquinone, even for those with lighter skin types.

4.) Do NOT get hydroquinone anywhere near your eyes.

Despite popular belief that hydroquinone may cause cancer, hydroquinone’s most serious human health effect is pigmentation of the eye and permanent corneal damage (Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venearology, 2006). While this only occurs when the eye is directly exposed to hydroquinone, it is still a risk factor. It is therefore vitally important to avoid the eye area in applying hydroquinone-based creams.

5.) Hydroquinone has NOT been directly linked to cancer in humans – only mice.

Some believe that hydroquinone may cause cancer. This is false. How this rumor arose stems from a study that demonstrated mice exposed to hydroquinone developed liver tumors. However, these results were reported in a misleading fashion, as dermatological experts explained in a 2006 review in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology:

Instead of being harmful to the skin, hydroquinone increased the number of benign (non-cancerous) liver tumors, reducing the proportion of cancerous liver tumors in the mouse, showing a protective effect of hydroquinone. (For you science buffs out there, there was an increase in hepatic adenomas and a decrease in hepatocellular carcinomas).

As for other studies associating mouse kidney tumors with hydroquinone use, it has been argued that these are not relevant to humans. As Dr. David J. Goldberg, a clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine states, “Over 100 scientific articles confirm hydroquinone is a safe topical for humans; no independent studies prove the opposite.”

Bottom Line

Of the skin-lightening and age spot-brightening agents out there, 4% hydroquinone is the most effective. Overall, it is considered to be safe, but it is important not to use hydroquinone in conjunction with any creams containing peroxides or resorcinol, to avoid the eye area completely, and to switch off with other agents every four months to lower the risk of ochronosis (skin darkening from the build-up of homogentisic acid). In addition, if you have darker skin, you may wish to speak to your dermatologist first, as ochronosis is much more common in those with darker skin tones.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 14 2013 at 7:01pm
Something new today . Today I used Dudu Osun soap for the first time. I have been hearing so many different things about this soap, good, bad, and indifferent. Picked up a bar of it at a local Korean BSS for $2.99.
Things I've read...
It stings/burn on contact with the skin.
It is very drying.
Don't allow it to come in contact with your 'bits and pieces'.

It can be used as a Shampoo.
It exfoliates.
It lightens and brightens the skin.
It leaves the skin squeaky clean.

With conflicting reviews I just had to try for myself . Once I was in the shower and had my hair wet, I rubbed the soap in my wet hands and went for my scalp....OMG !! It suds up right away, so I massaged and rinsed. My hair was soft, not at all the drying feel of some shampoos. I even did it twice .
Feeling full of myself, I then suds up my glove and started at my feet and worked my way up thinking if I felt anything hinky, I am already in the shower, what's the harm. Well, there was no harm at all .
I actually loved this soap. I felt brave enough to use in on my face and finicky neck.   It was not drying on my skin, which is normal to dry. It worked great as a shampoo, and I also prefer it as a cleansing soap over the Dove while exfoliating. Dove is moisturizing, and maybe left too much on my skin which acted as a barrier for my LA lotion, and peels. I have done well in the past 6 weeks, could it have been better .
I would definitely continue using Dudu Osun soap for the rest of this month.
All in all, a great purchase for $2.99, no waiting, no S&H

This is only the first time use. Hope it does not change after multiple use

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 14 2013 at 7:31pm
Dudu Osun..Tropical..Naturals

Ingredients...Pure Honey, Shea Butter, Osun(Camwood), Palmkernel Oil, Cocoa pod ash, Palm bunch ash, Aloe Vera, Lime juice, Water & Fragrance.
It is made in Nigeria, and has an exp date.

Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Dec 15 2013 at 12:39am
Quote from SKINTRIUM

Tips for Using a Face Spot Remover

Sun damage, hyperpigmentation from fluctuation of hormones, acne scars, and age can all lead to unsightly spotting on your skin. As the population who worshipped the sun ages, more people become concerned with these issues. With more products hitting the shelves to address these dark spots, it may be confusing to know the best course of action. Below are some tips on how to lighten spots at home and how to use a face spot remover for maximum results.

Fading dark spots at home

If you want to gradually, naturally reduce the appearance of dark spots on your face or body, you can easily find the necessary ingredients in the kitchen. Lactic acid from milk helps brighten and lighten skin for a more even skin tone, gently fading spots. Simply mix milk and ice cubes together in a bowl, soak a washcloth in the mixture and place it over your face for five minutes before rinsing with cold water. The formula is gentle enough that you can do this every other day (or every day) as needed.

Another easy solution is to use a gentle scrub to slough off that top layer of skin with the discolorations. Combine a quarter cup of brown sugar with two tablespoons of milk and apply it to your face. Gently scrub, then let sit for 10 to 15 minutes (this may become itchy) before rinsing with cold water. Follow with a moisturizer and sunblock (if you use the scrub during the day, otherwise you can omit the sunblock if you’re just going to bed after the treatment).

When the face spot remover becomes necessary

For very dark spots, large areas of pigmentation, or spots that have been resistant to other treatments, you may need to bring in professional face spot removers. Make sure you read the label and use products that don’t use harmful hydroquinone to lighten the spots. Banned in Europe, hydroquinone might be a carcinogen. Spot lighteners and erasers that rely on kojic acid, glycolic acid or Vitamin C safely and permanently remove spots without exposing your skin to harmful cancer-causing agents.

For best results, prep the skin with a gentle cleanser before using the spot lightening agent.

Apply the face spot remover product specifically to the dark patches, and leave on for period of time as directed by the instructions.

Ideally, you’ll use the spot eraser twice a day; when you apply it in the morning, make sure you protect your skin with sunblock as it is likely to be more sensitive to UV rays. Also, be sure to use a moisturizer to keep it hydrated after treatment.

Preventing dark spots from forming

There’s a reason the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is so popular in health, beauty, and medical communities. The best way to keep your face flawless is to prevent the spots from appearing in the first place.

The number one thing to do to keep your skin flawless is to always, always use sun protection, rain or shine, whether you spend most of your time indoors or out (especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors!). UV rays causes your skin to produce more melanin to protect itself, which leads a tan—if the development is even, and sun spots—if patches of skin get darker faster than other areas.

Good nutrition also helps keep your skin healthy and spot-free. Tomatoes, green tea, blueberries, safflower oil, and dark chocolate can help with warding off the signs of sun damage and aging, so try to work them into your diet on a daily or weekly basis.

And finally, exfoliate as frequently as your skin can handle—sensitive, dry skin may not be able to withstand much exfoliation, while oily, thick skin may be able to handle exfoliation every other day. Exfoliation keeps debris from building up on your skin’s surface and in your pores. This helps keeps your skin clear of acne and acne-related dark spots.

By combining preventative care with powerful spot removers, you should be able to achieve the spotless skin you want.

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