Acne Mythbusters Blog

Find out why you break-out & learn expert skin care tips

Sodium Alginate Ingredient Added to Pore Cloggers List

· Products · No Comments

We added a new ingredient to the pore cloggers list.

Sodium Alginate, which is a natural product extracted from brown seaweed that grows in cold water regions. (Think alginate = algae.)

When mixed with water, sodium alginate creates a gel-like consistency. It’s used as a thickening agent in foods and cosmetic products.

People with acne-prone skin should steer clear of products that contain sodium alginate, as well as seaweed, kelp, and other algae ingredients. These ingredients contain iodine, which can irritate your pores and trigger inflammation as iodides penetrate the pore and accelerate growth of micro-comedones.

Check your products (both topical and oral, i.e. vitamins) for these pesky pore cloggers!

Source: Molecular Recipes

Do Cell Phones Cause Breakouts? #AcneMythbusters

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In this week’s Acne Mythbusters, we investigate this everyday habit that could be causing your breakouts.

Fact or Myth: Could your cell phone cause a breakout?


Dirty Cell Phones Breed Bacteria
Bacteria is one of the primary causes of acne. And be honest: you take your cell phone everywhere with you.

In a 2011 study, researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found fecal matter on one out of every six smartphones. Additionally, a University of Arizona microbiologist named Charles Gerba found cell phones carry 10 times the bacteria of most toilet seats. (Want to check our sources? See this article from USA Today.)

Not only do cell phones carry bacteria, but they also become a technological petri-dish. The heat from the cell phone creates an environment for bacteria to thrive.

Cell Phones Rub You the Wrong Way
Even if you have a pristine, clean cell phone, anything that repeatedly rubs your face can cause breakouts. (See our other post, Makeout Breakouts.) If you’re rubbing your phone against your cheek, the heat and sweat can trigger a breakout. The pressure encourages oil glands to secrete more oil and traps bacteria, dirt, and make-up in your pores.

4 #AcneSafe Cell Phone Tips

  1. Use a microphone
  2. Use the speakerphone
  3. Hold your cell phone away from your face
  4. Don’t pick your pimples

Get to Know Your Specialist! Meet Beth

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In our Get to Know Your Specialist! series, you met Melissa.

Now’s your chance to meet Beth. She’s a self-admitted “skin geek” who completed her training at The San Francisco Institute of Esthetics & Cosmetology.

What do you love about being an Acne Specialist?
When I hear “I don’t even need makeup anymore!”, it makes my day! I see so many clients who cling to their full-coverage foundations to cover acne and spots. When their skin clears, it makes them feel beautiful and confident without wanting to hide it.

What do you wish everyone knew about acne?
Staying away from pore clogging ingredients makes clearing skin so much more effective (and faster) than just home care alone.

Compared to a person who is not acne-prone, people with acne prone skin can have up to 6x more dead skin cells collecting inside pores. When these dead skin cells sit in your pores, they’re waiting to bind with clogging oils. Together, the dead skin and oil make a stubborn clog in your pores!

Sadly, even if a product says “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free”, it can still contain pesky pore cloggers. Always read the ingredients to make sure that it’s free of #porecloggers.

Pro-tip: go to for the Pore Clogging Ingredients List.

Before your skin was clear, what were your unsuccessful methods or products to treat your acne?
Ooh, time for the skeletons to come out of the closet! I read about a DIY chemical peel online that had you crush-up Alka Seltzer tablets and slather them on your face them. I gave it a whirl and ended up with terribly painful, raw, red chemical burns all over my face. To make matters worse, it triggered way more cystic acne than I had in the first place! Internet misinformation strikes again.

What’s your #1 tip for people with acne-prone skin?
Consistency is key. Just like a gym membership, your skin care routine can’t work if you aren’t doing it regularly.

Consistency also means using the right products for your skin. If you’re experimenting with a hodge-podge of different products, how do you know what’s working and what’s not?

What’s your favorite #acnesafe beauty product?
I love Aquaphor Healing Ointment. I use it, on airplanes to prevent travel breakouts, as a protective barrier when swimming, relieves flakes post-peel, and even rescues chapped lips! It’s a multipurpose must-have in my home arsenal.

Our Specialists are nerds on all things skin. As former sufferers of acne, we have tried everything in the book (and on the web!). Now, we have turned our pain into passions for helping others on their journeys to clear skin.

Pesky Pore Cloggers Sneak into Product Reformulations

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Remember when Coca-Cola changed its formula?

In 1985, Coke reformulated its classic taste to “New Coke.” A reformulation is when a company changes what a product is made of, even if it’s only a small change.

For those of us who are #blessed with acne-prone skin, we must check the labels of every product that touches us. This includes lotions, make-up, toothpaste, and even laundry detergent! Once we find a favorite #acnesafe product, we’ll re-buy the same product over and over again.

Sadly, there are no notifications that a product has reformulated. Without knowing, your favorite shampoo becomes a pesky pore-clogger quicker than you can say “coconut oil.” Continue reading

Get to Know Your Specialist! Meet Melissa

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This is the first of our Get to Know Your Specialist! series.

Meet Melissa, licensed esthetician who has been a Specialist for more than 3 years.

What do you love about being an Acne Specialist?
I love seeing a real change in my clients’ skin and seeing their confidence grow.

What do you wish everyone knew about acne?
The cause of acne is a buildup of dead skin and is usually genetic. Bacteria and oil are only part of the problem, but not the main cause.

Before your skin was clear, what were your unsuccessful methods or products to treat your acne?
I tried nearly every home remedy on the internet, which is really embarrassing now that I know how terrible most of that stuff is for your skin. At one point I even put straight lemon juice on my skin because the internet told me to (I was a teenager, forgive me!). I got a chemical burn, and my acne remained unchanged. Glad those days are over!

What’s your #1 tip for people with acne-prone skin?
Exfoliate with a leave-on serum, not a scrub. And, of course, sunscreen every day – rain or shine.

What’s your favorite acne-safe beauty product?
AlimaPure Satin Matte Loose Powder foundation and blush. Great pigment, coverage, and texture. I love that there are no added ingredients – just minerals.

Our Specialists are nerds on all things skin. As former sufferers of acne, we have tried everything in the book (and on the web!). Now, we have turned our pain into passions for helping others on their journeys to clear skin.

5 Reasons Your Skin Stills Breaks Out

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As we always say, consistency is key to for keeping your skin clear of acne.

So, what do we mean by consistency?

We mean that you’re:

  1. Consistently using acne-safe skin care products
  2. Consistently sticking to the personalized day and night regimen provided by your Acne Specialist
  3. Consistently practicing lifestyle and health habits that help, not hurt, your skin

Sometimes, you’re doing everything right, but you’re still breaking out. It’s time to look at what you do everyday and find the culprit. Continue reading

New Probiotic Cleanser to Balance Bacteria on Acne-Prone Skin

· Health, News, Products · No Comments

New probiotic cleanser has a rich lather. Click the picture to purchase the product online.

If you’re a germaphobe, I hate to break it to you… But, you have bacteria all over your body.

Bacteria lives on your skin, eyes, ears, and, most of all, inside your gut. We refer to the bacteria inside and outside your body as the microbiome.

Imbalance in your microbiome (when the bad bacteria gets out of control) can cause skin problems to flare-up, including:

  • Acne
  • Folliculitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Rosacea flares

Continue reading

How to Maximize Your Acne Treatment Experience

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To get the most out of your acne treatment (or facial), follow the steps in this timeline before and after your appointment.

1 week before…
If you have a special event, schedule your treatment 1-2 weeks before the event date.

If you are using a prescription retinol, stop 1 week before treatment.

Be diligent about your SPF before a treatment. We can’t treat your skin if you’re sunburnt!

3 days before…
If you get your eyebrows waxed (or any other facial hair removal), schedule your facial hair appointment removal no closer than 3 days before treatment. After treatment, wait at least 1-week, or else your face will be red!

24 hours before…
Stop your actives (mandelic acid serums and benzoyl peroxide) 24 hours before your treatment. (If you’re dry of sensitive, make that 48 hours.) Continue reading

Prevent Eye Wrinkles With New Spin Trap Eye Serum

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Acne is not just for teens… Adult acne is a real problem affecting men and women into their 30s and 40s. While managing acne is the main concern of our clients, many ask about wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging.

In our efforts to treat acne-prone skin, we strive to make our clients’ skin look beautiful and radiant. That includes preventing pre-mature aging, especially in the eye area.
Continue reading

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