Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin)

Keratosis pilaris/chicken skin (those permanent goosebumbs on your forearms and thighs) is a condition that affects 50-80% of all adolescents and approximately 40% of adults.Most people with keratosis pilaris are unaware the condition has a designated medical term or that it is treatable. In general, keratosis pilaris is frequently cosmetically displeasing but medically harmless.
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Treatment of keratosis pilaris can include the following medications:
• Topical exfoliants. Medicated creams containing alpha-hydroxy acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid or urea moisturize and soften dry skin while helping to loosen and remove dead skin cells. Depending on their strength, certain creams are available over-the-counter and others require a prescription. Your doctor can advise you on the best option for your skin. The acids in these creams may cause redness, stinging or skin irritation. For that reason, topical exfoliants aren’t recommended for young children.
• Topical retinoids. Derived from vitamin A, retinoids work by promoting cell turnover and preventing the plugging of the hair follicle. Retinoids may be an effective treatment, but they can cause bothersome skin irritations, such as severe dryness, redness and peeling. Tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) and tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac) are examples of topical retinoids. If you’re pregnant or nursing, your doctor may opt to delay topical retinoid therapy or choose an alternative treatment.
• Laser therapy. Certain types of keratosis pilaris involving severe redness and inflammation have been successfully treated with laser therapy. Laser treatment involves passing intense bursts of light into targeted areas of skin. This type of treatment may require repeat sessions over the course of a few months, depending on your response.
Using a medication regularly may improve the appearance of your skin. But if you stop, the condition returns. And even with medical treatment, keratosis pilaris tends to persist for years.
LifestySelf-help measures won’t cure keratosis pilaris, but they can help improve the appearance of your skin. You may find these measures beneficial:
• Go easy on your skin. Vigorous scrubbing or removal of the plugs may irritate your skin and aggravate the condition.
• Gently dry off. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on the skin.
• Use a moisturizing lotion or lubricating cream. While your skin is still moist from bathing, apply a moisturizer that contains lanolin (Lansinoh, Medela), petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or glycerin (Glysolid), ingredients that soothe dry skin and help trap moisture.
• Try urea or lactic acid. Apply an over-the-counter product that contains urea (Nutraplus, Eucerin) or lactic acid (AmLactin, Lac-hydrin) twice daily. Both help remove extra keratin from the surface of the skin.
• Use a humidifier. A portable home humidifier or one attached to your furnace will add moisture to the air inside your home.

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Taking care of your body (skincare).

As a person who loves to take care of your face, I’m sure you must feel some compassion for your body. So much has been written about taking care of our faces, that it’s easy to forget about our body skin.

Body skin may be more resilient than the skin on our faces but it still needs care in order to stay moisturised, avoid stretch marks and stay even toned. Additionally taking care of it can help it stay youthful for longer. Follow these simple steps and I’m sure you will notice some positive changes to your skin.

1.Use a body wash that is suited to your needs, if you suffer from body acne, choose a body wash with salicylic acid.

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2.If body acne is not a concern for you, you can benefit from the newest innovation in body wash, Dove Nutrium body wash. This is a glycinate based body wash which is a shift from the usual sulphate surfucants that irritate skin. More and more people are switching from sulphate based face cleansers and it was only a matter of time that we demanded the same high standards from our body washes.

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3.Moisturise beyond your hands and feet: your back, thighs, waist and upper arms are all part of your body. These areas tend to develop stretch marks easily when they’re left dry and dehydrated. If you have dry body skin, try to moisturise twice a day. Also avoid scalding hot showers, these tend to dry out your skin.

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4.Choose a moisturiser that absorbs easily into your skin, light hydrating lotions (good quality ones) tend to do well in this department.
If you find that your skin is just drinking up the lotion like a desert (and not getting moisturised), then consider exfoliating your skin to get rid of dead skin.

Along with these tips, book yourself a spa treatment whenever you can. With some skin issues like scar removal, cellulite and hyperpigmentation there’s only so much you can do by yourself.

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Vaseline eventone body lotion = 165/= (bestly cosmetics)
Dove nutrium moisture 325/= (Nakumatt)

Japanese/Asian Skincare.

Hello there,
Are you a person who appreciates an intricate skin routine? If so then Japanese skincare might just be the thing for you.

The usual suspect for innovation in beauty is Europe and most notably France, which in recent years has given us micellar water, a good replacement for wet wipes when you cant be bothered to use a rinse off cleanser. (Note that I’d never be caught dead cleansing with micellar water alone).

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The Japanese are known to have youthful skin, so lets steal some of their secrets to keep our skin looking youthful too.

Rather than list down a step by step skincare routine, I will explain each principle behind Japanese skincare.

Double cleansing.
This process is prevalent especially in Japan. I have written an entire post on double cleansing which you can visit to familiarize yourself with the concept. Basically it’s the use of a two tiered cleansing routine to effectively remove dirt and makeup. The choice of your cleansing products is up to you but the Japanese notably use oils and balms for the first cleanse.

Emphasis on UV protection and whitening.
Asian skincare products reflect the sun-sensitive attitudes of its customers. Many of them contain built in sunscreens and whitening ingredients to fade out dark spots and freckles.

Several layers of hydration.
In this layered process, hydration begins with toner, which is more commonly referred to as a “skin softener”. These toners never strip the skin of moisture or try to work in some extra cleaning like you might find in Western products. After toners come essences, serums, and finally rich creams, which deeply hydrate the skin and fill out fine lines.
The sheet mask, an optional step can also be squeezed in here.

Innovative ingredients.
Asian skincare companies are quite a few years ahead of their Western counterparts.Competition and high demand from customers allows them to extensively research new ingredients.
Forget the Cliniques, Elizabeth Ardens and Mary Kays, Japanese products are the real deal. For the most part, product claims are not just a marketing gimmick they actually do what they claim to do.

Skincare part of overall health.
Good skin is an entire philosophy: when you have good skin, you can wear less makeup, look much healthier, and seem younger as well. The layered routine is almost ritualistic in its execution, and it can be the best part of one’s morning or night. It surpasses fulfilling a physical purpose, and can promote one’s emotional and mental well-being too.

Overall quality.
If it hasn’t already been made obvious, Asian women take their skincare very seriously! The market is highly competitive. Interestingly, brands do not really compete on price as customers tend to favor quality over price and do not mind paying more for a superior product. Discerning customers keep skincare brands on their toes. Therefore, you can find great skincare at almost every price point, which makes Asian drugstore items a hot commodity around the world.

Is the Japanese routine right for my skin type?
This routine can work for all skin types but I would suggest reducing the layers of hydration for oily skinned girls.

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My latest buys.

Hello my name is Maureen and I’m a shopaholic. My search for the perfect product this time brought me to this dove body wash.

A few weeks ago, I resolved to stop using body washes that contain sodium lauryl sulphate and any of it’s harmful cousins. This sent me on a quest to find a new body cleanser and the qualifications were :
1.SLS free,
2.non-soap formulation and
3.richly foaming.

At first I settled for Aveeno moisturizing bar, an SLS free syndet bar. We had our good times but this melted like butter and didn’t perform so well in the foaming department.

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Exit Aveeno, enter Dove nourishing body wash. This is everything I was looking for and more. In place of sodium lauryl sulphate, this body wash is formulated with sodium lauryl glycinate.

Glycinate is a new development in body wash surfucants. It’s an ultra-mild surfactant with low potential for damage to Stratum Corneum (outermost layer of the epidermis) proteins and lipids. For further reading on this ingredient you can check out this website.

This body wash has been around for a while now but it doesn’t turn up on the internet  when you search for SLS free body wash, hence why I took so long to find it.

On my last post I promised I’d reveal what I’m using in place of my salicylic acid cleansers. I thought it would be useful to share this for people who want a deep cleanse but can’t tolerate Salicylic acid, other beta hydroxy acids or even alpha hydroxy acids.

Currently I’m using clinique cleansing balm to take off my makeup and Aveeno ultra calming foaming cleanser for my final cleanse.

This two are very mild but do a very thorough job both individually and when teamed up.

Now, I know foaming cleansers are generally bad news. Most of them contain SLS or a substitute surfactant that is just as irritating or doesn’t get the job done. This Aveeno cleanser however is refreshingly different, it’s SLS free but still strong enough to take off makeup. 

I imagine bathing in a cloud would feel like using this cleanser. This comes highly recommended for people with dry skin.

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Can you reduce your dependence on acne treatments?

Hello there,
Are you an acne sufferer? If so, then it is imperative that you know about benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and how they can help you win the fight against acne.

I’ve written other posts about bp and salicylic acid but here’s a quick recap of how these two work.

Salicylic acid.
Topical salicylic acid treats
acne by reducing swelling and redness and unplugging blocked skin pores to allow pimples to shrink.

If you’re acne is the persistent kind, it’s a good idea to opt for a salicylic acid toner or cleanser which doesn’t require rinsing. This will give it more time to work on your skin.

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If you break out only periodically, there is no reason you can’t use a salicylic acid toner but a rinse off cleanser will serve you just fine.

Benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl peroxide works by breaking into benzoic acid
and oxygen, and this oxygen acts as a free radical in the skin destroying cells and bacteria it comes into contact with. This is something you need to try, especially if you suffer from cystic acne.

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Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic work so well you’ll never want your skin to be without them. Which begs the question, are there any side effects?

Just the other day I read a review on acne.org that vindicated salicylic acid for lightening skin.
One way to explain why is that salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant. These slough off dead skin cells and reveal newer skin. Using a product with salicylic acid can help you get rid of a tan, but the lightening effects aren’t incremental, you won’t get lighter than your natural color by just exfoliating.

Another concern people using bp and salicylic acid have is how drying they can be.

Given the pros of using bp and salicylic, I think giving them up completely is ridiculous, however, reducing your dependence on them is probably a good thing, especially if your breakouts are caused by commonplace reasons like refusing to cleanse, not moisturising in the daytime  and leaving your makeup on at night.

Moisturising is something some of us oily skinned girls don’t love to do. Refusing to moisturise during the day leaves your skin vulnerable to the elements and your skin will eventually break out.

Leaving your makeup on at night, I think it’s rather obvious why this is harmful to your skin.

Another thing you could do to make sure you always need your salicylic or benzoyl, is to use comodogenic moisturizers.

You may also want to stay away from cleansing lotions and makeup removers that contain mineral oil, they don’t rinse off very well and may cause you to break out.

If you cleanse effectively everyday you could go without bp for months, and reduce your salicylic acid use from everyday to maybe three times a week.

In my next post I’ll reveal my latest buys and what I’m using to replace my salicylic acid cleansers.

Thanks for stopping by!
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Chemical vs Physical sunscreen.

On my previous post, we discussed methods of prolonging your sun protection when reapplying your sunscreen every 2 hours isn’t an option.
A sunscreen that combines chemical and physical actives emerged as one of your options but I’ll tell you why I prefer physical sunscreens to chemical sunscreens. First, lets cover the basics on what chemical and physical sunscreens are.

What is chemical sunscreen?
Chemical sunscreens work by scattering or absorbing the Sun’s rays. These sunscreens are absorbed by your skin and DO find a way into your bloodstream. Chemical sunscreens are formulated with  active ingredients like  oxybenzone,avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene,homosalate and octinoxate. These chemicals can be formulated in the lab but oxybenzone  occurs naturally in the flowers of certain plants.

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Chemical sunscreens aren’t very good at offering broad spectrum protection but they will prevent sunburn.
What are physical sunscreens?
Physical sunscreens are sunscreens that use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients. These ingredients ‘sit’ on your skin and deflect the sun’s rays. They are able to deflect both UVA and UVB rays thus offer better protection than chemical blockers.


Both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide occur naturally and are inorganic.

Titanium dioxide can be problematic for some people. (If you break out from mineral make up and physical sunscreen, titanium dioxide could be
the culprit.)

Zinc oxide is generally safe. It can be used on delicate skin and is a main ingredient in diaper rash cream.

Why is physical better than chemical?
Other than the fact that physical sunscreen offers better protection, the other reason you should avoid them is that, they are considered endocrine disruptors. Those are chemicals that interfere with the normal function of hormones. The hormones most commonly disturbed are estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid.

Endocrine disruptors, like some ingredients in chemical sunscreens, can cause abnormal development of fetuses and growing children. They cause early puberty and premature breast development in girls, and small and undescended testicles in boys.
They cause low sperm counts and infertility. Endocrine disruptors that act like estrogen can contribute to the development of breast and ovarian cancers in women, and other endocrine disruptors may increase the chance of prostate cancer in men.

At this point you may be wondering, why do people use chemical sunscreen in the first place? Because they are easier to find and don’t leave you with a white cast.

To solve the problem of the white cast manufacturers now split titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to make them small enough to be absorbed by your skin. These small absorbable particles are called nano particles.

The effect these nano particles in your body hasn’t been studied widely yet, but in my opinion these are much safer than chemical sunscreens.

I have searched all over but haven’t found a suitable non-nano physical sunscreen. I do know that badgers and adorable baby make non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen but those brands are hard to come by around here. If you know of any other options please share.

If you’re wondering whether or not you really need sunscreen, take a look at this.

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Layering your sun protection.

On most days reapplying sunscreen on your face is something you never get to do, especially if you spent a lot of time getting your makeup just right. It’s inconceivable to let all that hard work go to waste by smearing sunscreen all over it.

So what can you do about it?

There two options you could use to make sure that your single morning application lasts throughout the day.

I’m assuming here that you always apply a proper sunscreen underneath your makeup.
Makeup with SPF is great but it isn’t very useful on its own.

Sunscreens that protect for longer hours.
These are typically formulated with a combination of physical and chemical actives.
For those of you who can tolerate oxybenzone and other chemical blockers, this Elizabeth Arden sunblock can offer up to eight hours of protection.

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This sunblock is arguably more powerful than others but take the 8 hour protection claim with a pinch of salt.

Mineral makeup.
This is the option I’m going with, and people using an 8 hour sunblock can also include this for added protection.

Mineral makeup is mostly sold as powder foundation. Liquid mineral foundation is also nice but powder foundation will allow you to kill two birds with one stone. With a mineral powder, you can blot out the shine in the middle of the day as well as boost your sun protection.

In Kenya, I can only find Clarins and Mary Kay mineral powder but the rest of you have other options like L’oreal, Jane Iredale and Bare minerals just to mention a few.

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Check for one where zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are listed high up on the ingredients list. This means they are primary components of the powder and it is an indicator that the powder offers a higher sun protection factor.

Don’t forget to cleanse properly at the end of the day. Sunscreen ingredients are comodogenic and will most probably break you out if not cleansed off completely.

Along with switching to a mineral powder to set my foundation (or just to keep oiliness at bay), I hope to switch to a non-nano physical sunscreen. All your suggestions are welcome, keep in mind that the reason I haven’t found one yet is that all the ones I’ve tried leave a white cast on your face.

In the meantime, I’ll continue using my nivea even though I don’t know if those nano particles are causing cellular damage. I always say, the best sunscreen for you is the one that you’ll actually wear, and I can’t see myself leaving my nivea for something that leaves me with a white cast.

Thanks for stopping by!
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