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Let’s face on any given day your skin is battling pollution, hormonal breakouts, stress, sweat, and clogged pores. With COVID-19 changing our lives on a daily, there’s a new type of acne that has been added to the list this year, called maskne –(mask acne). As we continue to wear our masks outdoors and indoors, there’s a high chance that the increased moisture-rich environment of bacteria could affect your skin. Meaning you’re most likely to deal with clogged pores now more than ever. It’s not just you, over 56K women on Instagram are using the hashtag #maskne to raise awareness around this skincare concern. Though it’s pretty impossible to banish clogged pores for life, it’s important to make sure they’re clean and free of debris that makes them less visible. Though those with oily skin are most prone to have an increase of clogged pores which lead to whiteheads, blackheads, and unwanted bumps — read ahead, as this applies to all skin types during this current climate. 

In order to achieve smooth and glowing skin, using ingredients with gentle detoxification elements is key. It’s important to note that, when you try to extract at home, it can cause hyperpigmentation, permanent scarring, and additional breakouts. Therefore, I urge you to step away from the mirror and refrain from squeezing away at your t-zone. This causes stress on the skin tremendously. For those with truly congested skin, investing in a deep pore cleansing product will be a major game changer as it reduces blemishes and pore visibility. Try Goldfaden MD Detox Clarifying Foam Wash, $35, to reach deep into pores and target stubborn dirt and oils. The magic in a bottle cleanser consists of two Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which are Latic and Glycolic. Both acids dissolve excess oil and dead skin which builds up insides your pores over time. This helps to achieve a smoother and clear complexion. The daily wash also has a blend of White Horehound, Acai Palm Extract, Date Palm, and Gotu Kola, the Detox Complex which will help aid against environmental stresses. This revolutionary combination of ingredients not only unclogs your pores but also, fights against pollution and texture. Using this cruelty-free product daily will result in slowly eliminating large pores, blackheads, and breakouts. 

Now let’s talk about exfoliation, you’ll have two main options such as a physical exfoliator or chemical exfoliator. Here’s the main difference between the two, a physical exfoliator is usually gritty and polishes away dead cells from the surface of your skin, while the chemical exfoliator usually consists of acids to breakdown debris and provide anti-aging benefits. This all depends on your skin type and sensitivity.   

For those interested in a physical exfoliator, I recommend Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub, $75, which provides hydration while removing dead surface skin revealing brighter, radiant, healthier-looking skin. According to a consumer study with 82 participants over the course of 28 days, ninety-five percent agreed that their skin feels smoother after use. Crafted with hyaluronic acid to deliver long-lasting hydration and ruby crystals to target unclean pores, this scrub is a must-have for all skin types. If you’re looking for a chemical exfoliation, try Goldfaden MD Fresh A Peel, $85, which polishes away dead skin cells while reducing the appearance of lines, pores, and imperfections. The plant-based actives within this peel will result in a more radiant and youthful appearance. Packed with lactic acid and multi-fruit enzymes, the powerful combination will have others asking if you just got a facial.

When it comes to clearing clogged pores consistency will help you achieve the glow of your dreams. Partner these skincare recommendations with a well-balanced healthy meal plan that’ll not only create a flawless canvas but also promote a fruitful lifestyle.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Ashley Jimenez is a multi-media journalist and Co-Founder of LatinaWatch. She oversees LatinaWatch.com and all of the website’s editorial and video content and strategy, as well as social media channels. As the former Beauty Director of HOLA! USA, the Puerto Rican-Dominican reporter, is an expert in identifying trends, highlighting multicultural content, and exploring thoughtful conversations within the influential Latina beauty segment. Her past roles include Senior Beauty Editor at Latina Magazine, where she created beauty, wellness, and lifestyle content specifically for women of color. She explored intersections of vision, Afro-Latina identity within the hair industry, socially conscious skin care, mental health topics. Ashley’s dedication to storytelling has created groundbreaking content that speaks to the duality women face as they navigate the world while honoring traditions and crafting new age customs.

After 50 years of practicing Dermatology and treating diseases of the skin, Dr. Goldfaden has seen the full spectrum of skin conditions. “The skin on your body is as important as the skin on your face.” Choosing clean body products can target and correct the most common body issue most people are dealing with. Dr. G created our NEW Body Collection to extend healthy skin care from the chest down. Our Doctor’s Body Scrub is a multi-active scrub features micro-fine exfoliating crystals, skin-softening Bamboo Extract, skin-brightening Fruit Enzymes, soothing Probiotic-fermented Extract, and antioxidant-rich Red Algae. After exfoliating, Firm Believer Body Serum offers elasticity enhancing Radish Root Extract and skin softening Marula Oil and Shea Butter. Hyaluronic Acid helps to hydrate and plump skin while a combination of Brown + Red Algae along with Coffee & Gotu Kola Extracts work to increase microcirculation while helping to firm and tone the skin.

We asked Dr. G to weigh in on common body skin conditions (and some you may not have heard of) and how exfoliation is still the most important and effective part of your skincare regimen. Of course if you think you may be suffering from any of the below, you should see your dermatologist for a formal diagnosis, but in the meantime taking time to care and treat your body at home will not only make your skin glow but also make you feel good.

Keratosis Pilaris

What is it: A very common especially in females and children.  Keratosis Pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin, excess skin and oil which blocks the hair follicle causing little bumps (often white) under the skin’s surface. Found on the arms and thighs. Very commonly this is an inherited condition and people may refer to it as ‘chicken skin’.

How to help: Exfoliation won’t cure Keratosis Pilaris but it can help the roughness of the skin and the appearance of the bumps. Physical exfoliants (like a scrub) can assist in smoother, more even-textured skin, while a chemical exfoliant such as Lactic, Glycolic or fruit acids can work in tandem to smooth skin out.  Hydrating the skin is also very important when treating Keratosis Pilaris.

Xerosis

What is it:  The medical term for ‘excess dry skin’, Xerosis is caused by lack of moisture in the skin. This can be caused by dry climates, cold weather, artificial heating and aging.

How to help: Regular exfoliation of the body will remove dead, dry skin allowing active hydrating ingredients to treat the skin. Systemic hydration (drinking water, eating foods high with a high-water content and topical hydration (serums, moisturizers, lotions and creams) are crucial to reverse and treat Xerosis.

Ichthyosis

What is it:  An inherited condition, which can vary in severity. Most commonly found on the legs, however, can be all over the body in more severe cases. Ichthyosis coming from the Greek word for ‘fish’ appears as dry, thickened, scaly skin.

How to help: Exfoliation will help this condition by removing dry, scaly skin. Use of a very hydrating body lotion or cream is preferred.

Teania Versicolor

What is it: Meaning ‘fungus of many colors’, Tinea Versicolor appears as white patchy, flat splotches usually found on the upper arms and face. More noticeable when the skin gets sun or tanned.

How to help: Exfoliation is excellent for the removal of the superficial fungus and dead skin.

Backne, Chest Breakouts and Butt Bumps

What are they:  Little or big bumps/pimples that show up on the back, the chest and the butt. All are considered acne and can be caused by hormones, clothing friction, cosmetic products/SPF that are too heavy or bacteria left behind from sweat and dirt. The overproduction of oil causes hair follicles to get clogged causing inflammation which is the pimple or bump that surfaces. You’re more prone to getting pimples and breakouts on your back vs. the face in general because those areas have high concentrations of hair follicles and sebaceous glands (glands that secrete an oily matter called sebum) which when clogged, cause breakouts. The skin located on the back is also very think and endures a different environment altogether. The back area is typically clothed, so the skin can’t breathe as easily and experiences conditions such as; sweat build-up, wearing tight and restrictive clothing when exercising and not showering after. This can lead to clogged hair follicles, over oil production, and acne.

How to help: Always shower after working out or sweating. Try and not sit around in damp workout clothing. Regular exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, minimizes many types of superficial scarring and ward off bacteria which causes breakouts and rashes. Try switching to a lightweight body serum or oil-free lotion for the warmer months.

Your face and skin are windows into your health. Skin issues and other undesirable facial flaws are often thought of in terms of how they’re unpleasing to the eye and take away from a person’s natural beauty. But this way of thinking disregards the important fact that circles under your eyes, red cheeks and unusual acne that pops up in places such as your ears or along your forehead can tell a tale about nutritional deficiencies and the health of your organs.

What your FACE can tell you about your health (including spotting if you need to go on a diet based on where your blemishes and wrinkles are).

 

Acne/Breakouts

Adult acne or breakouts can be caused by all sorts of issues, but are most directly related to hormones and stress. Genetics can play a role in adult acne.  Acne can be caused from hormonal changes or imbalances related to birth control, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and peri-menopause. When stress levels rise the body produces more stress hormones, which cause over production of oil and thus a higher chance of a breakout. Lifestyle choices like exercising and sweating may help to get circulation and blood flow going.

“Chin or jawline breakouts are typically hormonal acne. Try exfoliating more on the chin and forehead and be aware of any hair product that may be getting on your forehead. Always clean your cell phone anything that may touch your chin.  Clean all makeup brushes as to not spread bacteria.”  Dr. Gary Goldfaden

While food doesn’t cause acne, it can attribute to it and make for an unclean, unhealthy appearing complexion. Glycation is the main enemy of skin and the aging process of the body.. The glycation process, which is basically, sugars (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin, which excels the aging process. Foods that feed glycation/cause inflammation in the body/skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol.

Puffy Eyes + Dark Circles:

Ordinary swelling around the eyes means you have an excessive accumulation of fluids, called edema, in surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin in the body, swelling and discoloration can be quite prominent. Overconsumption of salt, which causes fluid retention, Allergies Sinus problems, Dehydration, Fatigue and lack of sleep, Stress, Crying, and Aging that can cause inflammation and swelling.

Puffy eyes could also be related to kidney problems, and these should be investigated by your doctor.

Redness:

Blood vessels are more apparent in people who genetically have thin skin, but red skin can also be the result of aging and skin damage. Sun exposure can increase redness, inflammation, and eventually skin cell damage all over the face.

Dr. G says increase anti-inflammatory, cooling and soothing ingredients /foods

  • Red Tea (Rooibos)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Green Tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Cucumbers

If excessive redness does happen, try applying a cool compress, splashing your face with very cold water, going indoors and allowing your body to cool off. Wearing a little concealer on areas that do tend to get red can help too.

You are what you eat:

Diet: “Eat a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods such as leafy greens and berries and foods high in essential fatty acids (salmon and almonds). Stay away from foods that can encourage and cause Glycation. Some people may benefit from cutting dairy products out of their diet.”

“Overall signs of loss of elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging may be caused by Glycation. The Glycation process (sugars from food and alcohol, that break down the collagen fibers in the skin) speeds up the aging process. Foods that feed Glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol. “

“Smoking can attribute to dull and sallow looking skin tone, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, enlarged pores and an overall unhealthy complexion.” Dr. Gary Goldfaden